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Report: BYD scuttles F3e battery electric vehicle

Gasgoo.com. BYD has decided not to put the F3e EV into production due to the lack of an enabling environment for electric cars in China, according to a report in China Business News which cited Wang Jianjun, deputy general manager of BYD Automotive Sales Co Ltd.

The Shenzhen-based automaker was initially engaged in development of all-electric vehicles, but changed its mind after a market investigation and consultation with the dealers for everyone thought there were still problems with the supporting infrastructure and market environment at the moment and what the company needed were transitional products. It therefore created the F3DM, a plug-in hybrid compact sedan, Wan said.

BYD Co, backed by US billionaire Warren Buffet, also established three charging stations as part of a pilot program in Shenzhen in 2007. Ia Hipping, general manager of BYD Automotive Sales Co Ltd. said then commercial production of the F3E would be achieved in three years and the price would be controlled below 150,000 yuan ($22,400). However, the BYD F3DM was somehow launched first in December 2008 and the F3e was abandoned, and the reason is just as Wan said—a problem of ancillary environment. It is infeasible to extensively promote all-electric vehicles before the supporting infrastructure is well improved in the country.

Comments

ToppaTom

Following the established business model, depicted in the movie "Who killed the electric car?", BYD will crush all the F3e prototypes.

Engineer-Poet

The plug-in hybrid version (F3DM) can yield a large fraction of the fuel savings and cuts in urban pollution, so it's not a complete loss. They may even get more fuel savings per kWh of battery production (I couldn't find the F3E's battery specs, but the E6 number appears to be 48 kWh compared to the F3DM's 13.2 or 3.6x as much).

HarveyD

HEVs/PHEVs are (and should be) part of a normal transitional approach to vehicle electrification, at least until such time as batteries have improved (2x to 4x) and essential supporting infrastructures are in place.

Affordable highway capable BEVs with lighter 100 Kwh battery packs for 500+ Km between charges may not be around till the end of the current decade. Meanwhile, shorter range city BEVs will serve as development tools to improve many associated e-elements.

kelly

Not even the commies are stupid enough to refuse millions of dollars and crush customer EVs, but there is an aroma about this.

Such a beginning years ago http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/04/byd-introduces.html

Have they scuttled the taxis http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/byd-20100518.html as well?

In a country with dozens of multi-million population cities 186 mile range EVs can't find electricity?

Maybe through insider 'due diligence' and dummy corporations, no windfall need be forever.

Reel$$

BYD is a battery maker - not a car maker. They have just realized that being both is not as easy as it looks. This bodes poorly for China's growth as they have the world's worst air quality and it is vastly important for them to electrify transportation.

Perhaps one of the many JVs between established car makers and China's monolith government will start the ball rolling on the EV front. Until then, this is just another casualty of overreach.

HealthyBreeze

I thought their sales had been almost non-existent. Saying it was due to an external factor, charging stations, may just be face saving. They probably didn't have the quality to attract the high end customers, and most of the Chinese market are "value" shoppers.

Lad

China has the same problems we have only more so. A high oil demand, coal demand and not enough renewable energy. The government in China calls the shots and I think they have decided to Have BYD concentrate on batteries and not autos.

Warren may have lost one by betting on autos from BYD.

Stan Peterson

The F3DM as I understand it was withdrawn from the market after manufacturing less than a 100 cars. That was because some 70 new owners collectively sued BYD, the manufacturer for producing lemons and junk cars that did not operate as they were promised.

As regards the billionaire investor Warren Buffet, he violated one of his own rules for investing, by buying into BYD. He used to brag "I don't invest in technology companies, because I don't understand the technology, and the ramifications of changes coming to the technology".

Nobody bats 1.000

kelly

What's this 'poor Warren' when his investment went 4X+ in seasons?

One way or another, he got most of that into his accounts, while still having equity in the best selling car model in China for recent years running.

ToppaTom

I think that maybe the F3e EV and F3DM brick mean that the Chinese are 10 years behind us – a sort of “scuttling” gap?

The gullible touted these as a shinning example of the great leaps forward by China.
- “US faces a new ‘Sputnik Moment’ in China’s clean energy successes”.

Mostly promises, claims and plans that morph into smoke as they mature.


What EVs need (and do not have yet) is cheaper, higher energy density batteries.

Herm

gasoline and diesel are still price subsidized in China, there is no incentive to reduce fuel consumption..

HealthyBreeze

@ToppaTom,

You're completely right about the waiting for the right battery before EV can take off as an all-purpose driver. The Nissan Leaf will be ok as a second car, and that's a start. Even then though, it largely makes financial sense only because of tax breaks. Still, for people with average commutes and/or the ability to charge at work, it's attractive.

The Chinese have shown a penchant for trying to do proven technology cheaper. They're going in big on Silicon PV cells, and it appears they will be successful. They are building 80+ Gigawatts of Hydroelectric power (lots of rivers coming out of Himalayas). With BYD, wasn't it LiFe batteries which have less charge density and more durability than most Li batteries? That formula was supposed to be conservative, but ultimately they didn't satisfy people who wanted range or less costly batteries. What could they have done differently?

HarveyD

Herm got it right.

Electrified vehicles cannot compete where liquid fuel is very cheap. That is the case in China and many other countries including USA.

With fuel close to $10/gal, many would start looking for alternatives.

Most government have the power to do that, put oil /ethanol powerful lobbies would not let it happen.

With oil approaching $90/barrel, gasoline price has gone up 25% in our area, i.e. from $3.65 USD/gal to about $4.55 USD/gal. That's is more than the $4.42 USD/gal we had for a short time when oil price reached $147/barrel two yeas ago. We will probably be close to $5 USD/gal when oil is up to $100/barrel this winter. My next car will certainly do 50+ miles/gal.

SJC

BYD has a unique CEO, he makes moves to maneuver for position. Lots of batteries are required for EVs with limited sales. Making plug hybrids may be a better way to go.

Reel$$

“US faces a new ‘Sputnik Moment’ in China’s clean energy successes”.

Mostly promises, claims and plans that morph into smoke as they mature.

Sad. But true. What clean energy success?


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