This EV Brand Could've Been Big

Byton was an up-and-coming name in the EV world back in 2018. However, factors like the pandemic held them back from success, and now it looks as if we may never get a Byton EV on the market.
Written by Hannah DeWitt
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The rise of
electric vehicles
has led to new players in auto manufacturing like the wildly popular Tesla. However, for every EV success story like
, there is a company like Byton. A few years ago, Byton had potential to become a big name in EVs, and they wowed trade show attendees with their futuristic electric SUV.
However, now it looks like Byton is no more.
reports that the company has gone bankrupt, and the Byton name seems unlikely to come back.

The initial promise of Byton

Byton was founded by automotive industry veterans from companies like BMW and Nissan. They unveiled their first vehicle in 2018, an SUV known as the M-Byte.  
While there are plenty of EV companies out there,  Byton stood out from the competition because of the attention it gained from China. The
Chinese EV market
is considered among the most lucrative in the world. Had Byton succeeded, this market alone could have made them quite profitable.
For consumers and investors overall, though, the appeal of Byton came from the futuristic design of their vehicles. Byton's M-Byte would have been a unique vehicle that was unlike anything else on the market. 
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The Byton M-Byte would have been a futuristic EV

We have been calling the M-Byte an SUV because that is what Byton called it, but its design blended elements from other body styles as well. It was smaller than an average SUV, and it incorporated design elements common in sedans. This innovative design challenged notions of what an SUV could be, which set it apart from anything else out there.
As for performance,
states that the M-Byte would have come with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drive M-Byte would have a range of 200 miles, and the all-wheel drive model would get 240 miles. These range figures set the M-Byte to be competitive against other EVs, but this isn't what made the M-Byte stand out.
The feature that immediately drew attention to the Byton M-Byte was the 48-inch infotainment screen that stretched across the dashboard. This screen was unlike anything else out there, and it allowed access to the driver and passenger. 
Innovative infotainment continued in the back seats, which both had tablets. Rear passengers could control infotainment settings or play games with each other through these tablets.

What happened to Byton?

Byton planned for the M-Byte to be released in 2022, and
Car and Driver
states that it was going to be priced at $45,000. This wasn't the only vehicle planned by Byton, as they had already announced a sedan called the K-Byte as well. However, neither the M-Byte nor the K-Byte would even make it to the market, and Byton started bankruptcy proceedings in 2021.
Problems had been brewing for Byton since the pandemic began in 2020. During that year, Byton laid off its staff, and their CEO left. Since then, little good news has come from Byton.
As the company continues with its bankruptcy, the once-promising M-Byte SUV will likely never be released. Byton is now another name like
Faraday Future
, promising EV companies whose struggles were too difficult to overcome.

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