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China’s BYD Unveils Second Plug-in Hybrid Model at Geneva Motor Show; Plans to Begin Sales in Europe in 2-3 Years

The F3DM.

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.



wow, China's car manufacturers have managed to catch up with 100 years of car development within the space of a few short years, and are now offering technology on a par with the very best in the world. Complacent first world manufacturers, watch out!


a: Lets see if it really pans out.
b: Get your skates on GM et. al. - the Chinese are coming!

People might accept a few rough edges if they really had a decent PHEV. It might not have Toyota levels of quality, but a real, serial/parallel hybrid is not to be sniffed at.
Well done BYD.


Look at it from this perspective: they are already the world's largest cell phone battery manufacturer.


I wonder whether they have any patent issues with A123's technology.


China ... worry about patents? nah!


If they have any plans to export this vehicle to the U.S. they will have to worry about patent infringement.

I envision a company in which every vehicle shares key components:
Genset, AC system, battery, control electronics, and even electric motors. An additional battery could be swapped in to accomodate better EV performance or facilitate a heavier vehicle. Components could be over-engineered but still be very cheap due to economies of scale.

It would appear that BYE is gravitating toward this model.

Jerry Z

Have you seen the exciting electric cars available from Zap? Go to right now to see what they have to meet your needs. I recommend the Xebra or the Obvio, which do you like best?


BYD will have to sort out a few technology copying issues before they can become a major exporter of cars. I wonder if their designs are too upscale for the Chinese domestic market.


Jerry, Z

Are you getting paid to post for Zap?

Dan A

This is great, unless you consider that there is no market for high-tech drivetrains in China because gasoline is subsidized to the equivalant to pennies per gallon.

the secret to A123 batteries are the chemistry and the manufacturing method.. they make uniform 50-100nm sized balls of the LIFE chemical to coat the reactive surfaces of the battery.. BYD may be using the same chemistry but not the manufacturing method, probably not as good as A123 cells.. but probably good enough for this application. 2000 cycles is very good.

But dont worry, they will work their way around the patents :)

Harvey D

It's been said before, China will have $10K to $15K PHEVs on the road before GM's $40K+ Volt. Of course, the Big Three will find a way to block or delay importation. Our politicians will try to buy votes with 300% tariffs etc.

I wouldn't worry too much about who manufactures the batteries because the majority will be from China within a few short years. The A123 + other USA batteries may very well be manufactured by BYD.

We can't compete with battery packs, control systems, electric motors and many other car parts. Our involment may eventually be restricted to R & D, prototypes, sales, local transport, + ongoing maintenance and repair services. TVs, PCs, Radios, Phones, office equipment, appliances etc are leading examples.


These guys have the right idea with what I would call 3 mode. EV, Series and Parallel. It was easy for them to do and so simple that no one else thought of it. Their quality remains to be seen and patents WILL be an issue, you can count on that.

joe padula

Toyota will have a Serial Hybrid out before GM. It will work better.
The Volt is Vaporware. Greenstalling.
Just look at the original design. It looked like a bad Jr. High school students doodling. It looked like it should have a Hemi in it! As aerodynamic as a brick too. There is no way it was a real car when announced, any focus group of environmentaly interested potential early customers could have told them that.

Can someone explain to me why GM had a EV-1 variation at the Bejing AUto show in 98 with a BEV range extender(small gas turbine with a recuperator) and now can not figure out how to get 40 miles on a PHEV?

Why not NiMH batteries today? The Rav-4 electrics BEV are still on the road with a proven battery and had over 120 miles range. Take out 2/3 of the battery and use the reduced mass to add a PZEV, 2 cylinder, HIgh RPM turboed engine driving a 400 Hz Alternator.


In the same time GM will propose its belt starter mild hybrid in 2010...

John Taylor

Thank you Wang Chaunfu.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology could have an instant infrastructure if they installed recharge stations at all the Chinese restaurants. *(two hours later and your car is hungry again).

The Pentagon's annual report on Chinese power should have noticed China was developing better cars to cripple its competitors "spaced out" technology.


"This is great, unless you consider that there is no market for high-tech drivetrains in China because gasoline is subsidized to the equivalant to pennies per gallon."

even pennies per gallon is expensive for your average Chinese factory worker. and China is committed to removing fuel subsidies gradually over the next decade or so. The state oil refiner (Sinopec?) can't go on making massive losses forever.


and they are having fuel delivery problems because the refineries are losing money.. so there is a market for plug ins.. and lets not forget the air quality in big Chinese cities.


I wonder about power production in China. They are said to be building 1 coal fired power plant per week to keep up with all the TVs and refrigerators. Maybe someone should do the analysis on what happens when you plug in a million cars.

Harvey D


One million plug-ins is nothing for China.

Or about 300+ million plug-in biclyles, cars, trucks, buses etc. That's where China will be within one decade.


Well, I would not say it is "nothing". It is definitely something when 10 million window AC units turn on at random times. Now add plug in vehicles that no one has control over and things could get real interesting very quickly.


The solution to that is to control them, just like utilities control millions of water heaters and air conditioners.


That is what they do with commercial AC units, I am just not sure that they are planning that. I know the meter reader still comes around instead of using power line networking, so we are still in the stone age.


Joe Padula - I agree the Volt is vaporware. On, they're already claiming they are spending $1 billion on it. Where have I heard that number before? Er, yes, what they claim ad nauseam they spent on the...EV1.

And they have the nerve to come and say their original Volt design had brick aerodynamics and brag about it when the EV1 had Cd0.26.

But the trouble with NiMH is while they sat stalling it since 1998 is that Cobalt prices have gone through the roof (for LiIon batteries demand) and even with planned big increases in production, there won't be enough cobalt to make meaningful numbers of NiMH batteries, at affordable/ predictable price.

A Prius use 1.4kg of Cobalt - so a Volt 16kWh NiMH battery would use 14kg: 100,000 Volts would use 1400 tonnes out of global cobalt production of 60,000 tonnes. Difficult, price distortion comes in. One car manufacturer alone producing a miserable 100,000 cars uses 2.3% of global Co production? 1M Volts use 23%. Not possible.

And Lithium availability is even worse for car sized LiIon batteries.

We need cobalt free NiMH, Zebra that uses a third the Ni of NiMH, ZnAir or even advanced PbA.

The Volt - yes, 10,000 a year they promise out of annual US car sales of 17M.


Something just occurred to me. If there are 1 million PHEVs that want to charge at 4 kw, that is like 1 million electric clothes dryers coming on at the same time and staying on for hours. That is 4 gigawatts of power or the equivalent of 4 nuclear power plants.

They better plan this well and have them all networked and computer controlled. I do not think that all of this will happen over night with the "free market".

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