China BYD Auto May Be First With Plug-In Hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: China BYD Auto May Be First With Plug-In Hybrid

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

China BYD Auto May Be First With Plug-In Hybrid

F6 Dual Mode from BYD AutoAfter all the talk about Toyota and GM and their competition to be first with a plug-in hybrid in 2010, independent auto maker Fisker said they could be first in 2009. And today, there's a news story (Source: Chinese Startup Wants To Steal A March On GM, Toyota - that China's BYD Auto company plans on being the first to launch a plug-in hybrid commercially. The big news: they're going to do it in the middle of this year.

BYD Auto showcased their F6 Dual Model (F6DM) plug-in hybrid at the auto show in Detroit. The F6DM should be able to run on electric power up to 62 mph, but it can take up to nine hours to recharge fully. But, if the buyers also purchases a special power station, you can recharge up to 50% in about 10 minutes. BYD says the battery pack can be recharged around 2,000 times and can last seven to ten years. The F6DM will be on sale for about $27,617. They plan on exporting it to the U.S. by the end of 2009, beginning of 2010.

BYD Auto is planning on having two electric models on the road in the next few years.

Toyota wants to have a plug-in hybrid fleet out to companies and government agencies in 2010, while GM is hoping to have the Saturn Vue Hybrid Plug-in on the road as well as the Chevy Volt. Fisker wants to come to market with their $80,000 Karma.

Based on the description, the F6DM sounds more like the Toyota plug-in, rather than the Chevy Volt model. GM wants the Volt to run up to 40 miles on electric power first, then transfer to a gas-electric model. Toyota envisions the plug-in hybrid as a souped up hybrid car, running on electric or gas when it's best for efficiency. GM believes their method is better since some commuters may never use gas at all, while Toyota believes their method is more efficient.

BYD has made some big claims for a company that is only five years old. They already claim they will be the biggest automaker in China by 2015.

If you're interested in hybrid car development in China, follow the link.

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