Chinese Carmaker Plans to Bring Extended-Range EVs to U.S. in 2011 - aftermarketNews

Chinese Carmaker Plans to Bring Extended-Range EVs to U.S. in 2011

Company wants to set up U.S. manufacturing operations as well.

DETROIT — BYD Auto Co., an independent Chinese automaker, said it plans to enter the U.S. market in 2011 with a range of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

BYD’s future lineup will include the F3DM, which the company says will be the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid sedan, and the battery-powered e6, a mid-size five-passenger crossover vehicle with a range of up to 250 miles on a single charge.

Speaking from the floor of the North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center, BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu also said the company plans to set up manufacturing facilities in the U.S. "when it is appropriate."

Underpinning the company’s strategic vision of "green tech for tomorrow" is BYD’s own Fe battery, which the company describes as “extremely safe, environmentally friendly and affordable.” The Fe can be quick-charged to 50 percent of capacity in only 10 minutes, and will have a life cycle of more than 10 years, according to the company.

The Fe battery is used in the e6 electric crossover vehicle, as well as BYD’s new Dual Mode family of plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the compact F3DM sedan and the mid-size F6DM sedan, which can run in either pure-electric or hybrid-electric mode.

At the Detroit conference, Wang was joined by David Sokol, chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, the energy wing of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which last fall acquired a 10 percent stake in BYD Auto’s parent company, BYD Company Ltd.

Sokol, a member of BYD’s board of directors, said, "We are working with BYD on developing charging technologies and infrastructure that would help promote plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. For the electric-vehicle market to mature, the underlying charging infrastructure and technologies must mature at least simultaneously, if not first. Perhaps like no other corporate entity in the world, we are in a position to help make that happen."

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