BYD Tang plug-in Hybrid SUV: The DiCaprio Chinese car.

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I just got a very sweet, polite  and nice comment on my previous post about the BYD SUV and Leonardo DiCaprio:

 el_monty said…

That car is BYD Tang, which is in fact a plug-in hybrid. Do your research!

So here are the results of some “research”.

The BYD Tang (Name was not obvious on the DiCaprio pic since I don’t read Chinese) is an actual plug-in SUV. Which came out about 2 years ago in China.

It also gets a quite impressive 50 miles EV range. Combined with a 2.0 Liter engine.

And it does look OK. Outside.

The interior is pretty scary. And tacky. 

If the specs are real (50 miles EV range), this is actually quite an interesting car. No one else seems to be able to squeeze that much out of a plug-in SUV or crossover these days. I guess the closest thing we have here would be the Kia Niro plug-in. With a 34 miles EV range.

To me, all this still doesn’t make it OK for DiCaprio. It is still a car that pollutes. And he is still taking millions to advertise it… 

Conversation 4 comments

  1. Chrysler Pacifica ( 8 passenger ) has a 33 mile electric-only range but with a 566-mile total range–who cares???

  2. I'm a long-time follower of your blog and I am sorry that my comment offended you. I wrote it out of impulse and indignation and I should have phrased it differently. But I am always annoyed by this feeling that the West is too quick to dismiss anything coming from China as sub-standard and/or worthless of attention. I have worked in automotive projects in China and my view is that they are advancing technologically in leaps and bounds, and Chinese motorshows these days are way more interesting than any western motorshows.
    You did say "And it doesn't look to be a Hybrid or EV.
    Which I would understand a bit more, since he is a big environment guy.", which meant you had not taken the time to find out what car DiCaprio was actually advertising. It seemed to me that you had just launched on an angry, knee-jerk rant without finding out a bit about what you were talking about, all because it is a Chinese car. Somehow I don't think your reaction would have been the same if DiCaprio had appeared in an ad for a Lexus hybrid, or the Kia Niro, for example. If my comment encouraged you to follow up your previous post with another one like this one in which you actually discuss the car itself, then I think I ultimately did the right thing.

  3. To el_monty:
    I am the one who should feel sorry about this. As I didn't mean to put down Chinese products in general.
    But thought it was really strange for such a huge movie star to take such money to pitch cars.
    No matter what the MPG, cars ARE responsible for huge amount of pollution.
    I just think it is weird for DiCaprio to be doing this.
    If he wants to sell something it should be solar panels, not cars.

    I was also wrong about not knowing this was a plug-in hybrid. Sometimes (Most of the time) I post things very quickly and don't really check stuff.
    The BYD technology actually seems really competitive with others.

    But my reaction would have been exactly the same if DiCaprio was pitching a Lexus or any non-Chinese car.
    I just think he is being a huge hypocrite by advertising SUVs. Plug-ins or not.
    I would call him on this no matter what brand. He is only doing in in China because he knows no one in the west will ever see these commercials. he is talking the money while at the same time, hiding what he is doing.

    His "green" image would suffer a lot if he was doing it over here.
    So I am going after the hypocrisy not the Chinese car.

    Thanks again from reading my blog. And thanks for encouraging the discussion …

  4. Exclusive: Jeep K8 -use Hurricane motor
    – Shown in China soon
    -Built on Cherokee platform; have 3 rows.

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