China’s BYD Unveils Second Plug-in Hybrid Model at Geneva Motor Show; Plans to Begin Sales in Europe in 2-3 Years
China’s BYD Co Ltd., which introduced its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology at the North American International Auto Show in January (earlier post) in the form of the F6DM (Dual Mode, for EV and HEV), has introduced another, smaller model using its hybrid powertrain at the Geneva Motor Show: the F3DM.
The F6DM shown in Detroit, a variant of the front-wheel drive F6 sedan that BYD introduced into the China market earlier this year, offers three modes of operation: full battery-powered EV mode driving its 75 kW, 400 Nm motor; series-hybrid mode, in which a 50 kW, 1.0-liter engine drives a generator as a range-extender; and parallel hybrid mode, in which the engine and motor both provide propulsive power.
Wang Chaunfu, BYD’s Chairman, said that the company planned to introduce a dual-mode sedan in Europe as early as in 2010.
“Battery technology is our core competency, and we think we are well-placed against GM and Toyota,” he said, adding that BYD’s dual-mode car could be driven 110 km on electricity before recharging.
The F6DM shown in Detroit uses a 20 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack, based on BYD’s own production cells (which the company calls its Fe cells). The pack, which runs down the center console, has a lifetime of 2,000 cycles. A 100% recharge with household 220 VAC takes approximately 9 hours. BYD says that the pack can achieve a 50% recharge in 10 minutes.
The company has said it will apply the DM technology across its product line.
BYD recently celebrated the opening of its engine plant and a new R&D center in Shenzhen. The design and testing of the core components of BYD’s electric vehicle technology will be done in the new R&D center.