BYD Unveils China’s First Electric Hybrid

BYD, the battery maker turned electric car maker and in which U.S. investor Warren Buffett took a 10% sake earlier this year, has unveiled China’s first homegrown plug-in hybrid vehicle.

That is few weeks later than BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu had said in October but a year earlier than originally expected and more importantly ahead of the next-gen Toyota hybrid and two years ahead of GM’s Chevy Volt.

Plans for sales to foreign markets, including the U.S. remain set for 2011, which will let it ride on the marketing coat tails of foreign competitors and probably position itself as the cheaper alternative.

The vehicle, which has a small gasoline engine as a back up to its electric engine, is selling for 149,800 yuan ($21,890). That cheaper than Toyota’s top selling hybrid, the Prius, at 259,000 yuan, but twice the cost of BYD’s comparable gas-engine only car, the F3.

The company is focusing first on domestic taxi and fleet sales rather than individuals, with a target of 10,000 sales in 2009. The first announced sales of the F3DM are a total of 50 cars to the Shenzhen municipal government and China Construction Bank.

1 Comment

Filed under Economy, Environment

One response to “BYD Unveils China’s First Electric Hybrid

  1. Your not telling me what the speed and power of this new BYD electric hybrid is. Nor does any other web site that I looked at. Knowing that is crucial – among other things.

    This kind of writing is more evidence of why America is losing out in the auto business. You need to make total comparisons. Your simply building up the competition.

    I read about all kinds of research and advances in American technologies on this Web Site: “”. Why does it take so long for it to get on the market?

    I predicted that GM’s Volt 40 mp per charge was not enough. A two year should have known that. (Yes Tesla Motors has an all electric that goes over 200 mp-charge. Yes, it cost lots. Yes, it may be different, but excuses won’t get the job done! America needs to leapfrog the competition, or it will lose out.)


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