Tesla will soon have a big rival in the east in the form of China's Byton M-Byte electric vehicle, who's USP is turning out to be a 48-inch wide infotainment screen that stretches across the dashboard of the vehicle. While experts may say that the screen which is the size of seven iPads placed across are likely to take away the drivers attention from the road, Byton's business model which focuses as much on selling content as much as they do on selling cars won't allow for anything less. The M-Byte also gets a 95- Kilowatt battery that allows for a range of almost 500 km between charges.
In its scope, the M-Byte will not only lock on the likes of Tesla, but even the more established European automotive houses like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi all of whom have plans of entering the electric space in the not so far away future. The Byton which is priced at $ 45,000 USD or RS 31.53 lakh, is about the same price as the Tesla Model 3 but is likely to offer a lot more for the price. Like the Tesla too, the Byton will be offered in multiple trims with the base version getting a slightly lower KwH battery that will be able to go over a range of about 400 km on a single charge. The top of the line trim which could push the envelope to $ 60,000 USD or RS 40 lakh. While lower version will be offered with a rear-wheel drive setup the top of line version gets an all wheel drive system with level 3 Autonomy. This will allow for the vehicle to operate on highways with very little driver input, however, the driver will need to be prepared to take over in the event of an emergency.
All versions of the M-Byte however will get the 48-inch floating interactive screen, and a third touch-enabled pad atop the center console that can be operated by a passenger. Making us believe that a screen to car ratio is something that we will have to start talking about in the near future. If that's not all M-Byte will respond to both gesture and voice command as well. the voice command bit is likely to use Amazon's Alexa assistant to provide information to the occupants. All together Byton aims to make the M-Byte the most important digital device in your life and will use the latest 5G wireless technology to keep connected to the IoT.
Byton wants you to think of your car as a content device that drives you to work, kind of like an Amazon Firestick on wheels and hopes to use the cars as a platform to sell content and shared mobility. Byton has aggressive expansion plans and will go on sale in China this year, with 2020 earmarked for the the European Market! As of now India is likely not a big enough electric space to be attractive to the company but it could considering the market once it matures a little bit more!