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This new electric car company is trying to out-smart Tesla

This new electric car company is trying to outsmart Tesla



There's a new electric car company on the block. It's called Byton, and the SUV prototype it revealed at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with its sleek design, zero emissions operation and smart device-lined interior, is aiming straight for Tesla.

The grabbiest thing about Byton's concept car is its all-screen dashboard: a 4K display that stretches from driver side to passenger side. Beyond speed, navigation and car health status info, the panel also delivers entertainment and communications media that's personalized to the driver – once they've been ID'd by Byton's face-recognition security system, that is.

Byton plans to launch the so-far unnamed EV with some autonomous driving capabilities and eventually software-upgrade it to full self-driving, meaning that both passengers and the person behind the wheel will be able to take in a movie or a video call on the car's big dashboard screen without concern for safety.

Though the smarts in Byton's car, at first glance, might look sharper than Tesla's, the electric technology that makes it go is roughly on par: either 250 or 325 miles per charge from either its 71- or 95-kWh battery options.

And in the all-important price category, Byton is slightly less affordable than the least expensive Tesla, with the new EV company saying it will launch at $45,000 compared to the Tesla Model 3's $35,000 base price. Of course, if we're comparing apples to apple, Tesla's roughly $80,000 Model X SUV is far more expensive than Byton's upcoming offering.

The new company plans to release its initial EV in China in 2019 and in the U.S. and Europe in 2020. Whether that will be the right timing to cash in on Tesla's current manufacturing delays remains to be seen.

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