GM is Weeping: BYD F3DM Plug-in Hybrid Goes On Sale in China, 3 Years Before Volt

BYD F3DM plug-in electric car photo

Is the Future of Transportation Coming from China?
We've been keeping track of BYD for many months now (see our previous articles on the BYD E6 electric car, and BYD F3DM and BYD F6DM plug-in hybrids), and we're not alone. Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy Holdings has bought a 10% stake in the Chinese firm for $230 million.

Plug-in Hybrid Car for $21.9k
What's most impressive is that BYD didn't even make cars a few years ago. Until recently, it was only a battery maker (the biggest in China), yet it's F3DM plug-in hybrid is going on sale in China right now, at least 2 years before the GM Volt, another series hybrid. Read on for more details about the BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid.

BYD F3DM plug-in electric car photo

BYD F3DM Technical Specifications
The BYD F3DM went on sale in China today for about 150,000 yuan (about US$21,900). BYD plans to bring the F3DM to the US in 2010, and will allow people in North-America to have a closer look at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January (I'll be there to check it out).

From GCC:

BYD says the F3DM has a range of 100 km (62 miles) on battery power alone with a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph). The 330V, 40 Ah Li-ion pack has life of more than 2,000 cycles, according to BYD Auto. On a household 220V power supply, a full recharge takes 8 to 9 hours.

The DM powertrain incorporates BYD’s own 50 kW 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter BYD371QA aluminum engine, and has a combined maximum output of 125 kW.

BYD also says that the battery pack can achieve a 50% recharge in 10 minutes, though that might require more juice than a typical house power outlet can dish out. Still, this could mean that fast-recharge power stations could be a possibility.

Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Flexibility
One interesting feature of the drivetrain is its flexibility. It actually has three modes of operation:

  • Full battery-powered electric mode
  • Series-hybrid mode, in which an engine drives a generator to recharge the batteries, acting as a range-extender like in the Chevy Volt
  • Parallel hybrid mode, in which the engine and motor both provide propulsive power, like in the Toyota Prius
BYD E6 Electric car photo

BYD says it wants to make all-electric vehicles in 2009 (the BYD E6 electric crossover, pictured above, has already been announced).

Via Green Car Congress

Click here for BYD Electric Cars Slideshow

BYD Electric Cars & Hybrids
Introducing the BYD E6 Electric Car
F3DM: The Second, Smaller, Plug-in Hybrid by China's BYD
BYD F6DM: Will the First Plug-In Hybrid be Chinese?
BYD Wants F6DM Plug-in Hybrid for Sale in Europe by 2010
Plug-in Hybrids
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