In recent years, China’s upstart carmakers have flocked to major auto expos with low-priced offerings aimed at global markets. This year’s Detroit auto show, which opens on Jan. 13, will be little different. But this time around, one company, BYD (比亚迪) Auto, won’t just show the usual compacts and subcompacts. BYD plans to exhibit a plug-in hybrid, the F6DM (for “dual mode”), that it says will hit the market in China this summer.
BYD swears it can deliver. Its parent is a top maker of batteries for cell phones and MP3 players. BYD has been developing hybrids and electric cars for four years and has a system that strings together about 100 small batteries into one pack. On the test track, BYD says, the F6DM can travel 60 miles on electric power before the gasoline engine must kick in to recharge, whereas GM says the Volt can go only about 40 miles before it needs the engine. The F6DM’s battery can be fully recharged after plugging into an outlet for nine hours, BYD says, compared with six hours for the Volt. [Full Text]
[Image: BYD’s F6DM hybrid car, via mycar168.com]