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BYD Auto Plans Full EV for China in Two Years

WSJ. BYD Auto plans to introduce a mass-market electric vehicle in China in about two years. The BYD e6 vehicle has a projected range of 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge. BYD plans to bring the same car to North America and Europe eventually.

BYD Chairman Chuanfu Wang said the BYD e6 electric car, due to be unveiled to the media Sunday at the Beijing auto show, will hit the Chinese market around 2009 or 2010.

BYD has already unveiled two plug-in hybrid models: the F6DM (Dual Mode, for EV and HEV) and the F3DM. (Earlier post.)

BYD Auto is a subsidiary of China-based BYD Group, the leading provider of NiCd batteries (65% global market share) and lithium-ion cell phone batteries (30% global market share). The company is developing its own large format lithium ion iron phosphate batteries for use in hybrids and electric vehicles. BYD is also designing the motors, control systems and software for the DM technology.



So the chinese may save us all in the end ! Saw their hybrid
at the Geneva show in march , must admit looks a lot like a
reverse engineered PRIUS to me , the ICE was a little smaller
at around 1000cc , but coupled to a whopping great lithium
pack which gave it a 60 mile all electric range !
What I still do not understand is why toyota have not yet
taken this approach with their car yet , it obviously works .

link to photo of cutaway of the hybrids engine bay at the Geneva

Harvey D


Don't forget that BYD currently manufactures almost 50% of all the Nimh and lithium batteries in the world. As the major battery maker, it may have an hedge on Toyota in that field, especial with much lower mass production cost.

Eventually, China and India should produce the lowest cost PHEVs and BEVs for their own growing market and for export. Those two very large nations don't have the fossil fuel nor the agrofuel (potential) in large enough quantities for one billion gas guzzlers. Accellerated vehicle electrification is by far the best way to go for them. Let's hope that some of their lower cost future PHEB + BEV production will be exported to the Americas without undue restrictions.


Agreed, China and India will lead the world in terms of EV adoption. Some time after that, the rest of the world will follow.


This sounds great - but should we be slightly cautious about safety, quality, ability to deliver?? And from a global economic perspective - you don't need a degree from Wharton to know single source supplier economies crash and burn. Especially where political disfavor threatens to collapse investment.

But forget my opinion - let's see what Mike, Editor of Green Car Congress has to say about future lithium battery makers:

If I read it correctly, the Americans and Japanese get the "A" and China... is no where to be found. Hmmm.


Ooops, sorry guys. I missed Mike's "A" for Korean LG/Compact. So it's U.S., Japan, Korea on the "A Team."


It is what I have been saying about vertical integration. Some comments said that car makers would just buy the batteries and everything would be fine. When they are such a key component to EVs I think it pays to be a battery manufacturer.

The fact that China produces electricity in lots of coal fired power plants is a concern. That is not exactly clean and green, but one step at a time. It would clean the air in the cities and then maybe they would get scrubbers and then maybe IGCC. People in China want cars, refrigerators and TVs. It is not all that much different than the U.S. in the 50s. It took us 20 more years to have an Earth Day. Maybe China will have their Earth Day some time after the Olympics.


and if you need a warranty on that battery pack? You better learn Chinese :)

If they plan to use a 45kwh pack in that car the cost of the batteries must be real low. At 0.200kwh per mile and assuming 80% battery discharge to get 186 miles.

Harvey D


Why is it OK to use Chinese built HDTV, Computers, Cameras, Cell phones, Radios, GPS, Sound systems, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines etc and just about everything we wear but it would not be OK to use Chinese built cars battery packs? We may not have much of a choice, because the majority will be built in China, India, Japan or Korea. North American built units will be too expensive for affordable PHEVs and BEVs.


We could build the batteries here in the U.S. with enough automation investment, but we will not because the investment money will not be there. It is the same story over an over for more than 30 years.

It is less risk for the companies to go to low wage countries than to invest in automation here. Once you invest, you have sunk capital and have to stay in the business. If you offshore and something more profitable comes along, you cancel contracts and shift the money.


How loud will the crying be when the numbers on pollutants per unit arrive?? Will there be any proponents of higher cost manufacturing with low carbon footprints?


The Chinese supplying these to western barbarians is not a foregone conclusion. They have petrol and diesel shortages already and their own Lithium supply. What use are dollars now it's not worth anything - what would they want to buy with dollars anymore? And now they have had their cage severely rattled with this Tibet affair. The Dalai Lama is certainly no saint, whatever he pretendsd to be and Tibet has been recognised as part of China by the rest of the world for a long time. From their point of view, we are grossly interefering in their interrnal affairs and causing them to lose face. They do not forgive that.

Let China sleep for when she wakes the World will tremble. - Napoleon.


Harvey, I was just joking.. I'm sure any selling of chinese cars in the US will have to meet all the requirements of warranty and parts availability. A lot of the stuff we buy from China tends to be disposable, but not cars at $20k

Would you buy one if the battery had a 1 year warranty?, 2 years?, 5 or 10?.. there may be a lot of money tied up in that huge battery pack.

Harvey D


I agree with you that battery packs ruggedness and durability is very important for PHEVs and BEVs success. That's probably why Toyota will used it's proven NiMH pack for the third generation hybrids instead of their higher performance but not suffissantly tested Lithium packs.

Toyota's approach has given excellent results but Chinese have been known to copy good designs almost overnight. However, BYD may be a bit ahead of Toyota with large high performance Lithium battery packs. Will they be as good? Their other batteries are doing very well. They can certainly compete with Toyota on price. There will be a huge market for high performance large battery packs. China's extensive manufacturing capabilities and workforce will be an asset.

More competition will produce better units at a lower price and make affordable PHEVs and BEVs a reality within 2 or 3 years. My main concern is that lobbies will make our government erect trade barriers to restrict imports of Chineses PHEVs and BEVs and/or battery packs

Harvey D


It is too bad that a few billion $$, being wasted on oil wars, cannot be used to supply the initial investment capital required to build 20 to 30 highly automated factories to mass produce lithium batteries and efficient electric drive trains.

However, that may go against many free market and free enterprise principles.

Direct large investments into our own industries can only be done in war time. Wars have been faught for many reasons. Will electrification of ground transportation vehicles and fossil liquid fuel consumption reduction and huge multi-year trade deficits provoke trade wars?


Waht toopid west not rmember is the ginte panda from glorimous country will awake with vnejance. Please do not forget Predasent Nixon who come to aks for peace... He knows truce is commieng soon!! bushes make hazserd of fire!! Forget revolting gm and get chery! ppg 465


Toyota probably couldn't just start up a competitive battery company at this point in the game. Buying one wouldn't be a bad idea.

I often wonder why we never hear about energizer or Duracell coming up with PHEV batteries.


Energizer and Duracell are not in the game. A123, EEstor and the likes ARE and they are bleeding edge.

Andrey Levin


Duracell and Energizer produce huge amounts of disposable batteries here in America, but for some reasons totally outsourced their rechargeable batteries manufacturing to China. About the same with other big battery producers in N.America. Batteries are produced on fully automated/robotic lines, designed and produced predominantly in US, and production cost for individual cell is the same in US, Japan, China, or elsewhere. Cheaper labor begin to weight in at the stage of packaging individual cells into assemblies.

US is second to none in development of new advanced batteries. Kind of strange situation (many economists tried to explain it, but to no avail): US develop best new rechargeable batteries, produce extremely expensive robotic lines for cell manufacture, then sell know-how and manufacturing lines oversea (for rechargeable batteries!), and then buy back bulk of the batteries.

And it is not just stupidity: looks like there are real economical factors involved in such “specialization”: America does what it does best, China, Japan, and Korea are doing the rest. Same story with computer chips: “developed in US made in Taiwan”.


To add to what Andrey just said:

US students are outscored at the elementary level: maths, science and maybe IQ are lower. At the tertiary level, they are still unmatched. And those same elementary level students still come to US for the tertiary eductaion. Kind of reassuring, isn't it?


building a battery factory in the US is probably difficult, with environmental and labor laws.. it may just take more time and paperwork and that cost lots of money to a manufacturer. Sort of like construction of Nukes was stopped in the US thru legal delays and permits.. all that cost money.

Harvey D


It seems that fully automated battery factories are a bit like automated printing machines.

Using the same machines, an average book cost about $1.00 to print in China and over $3.00 in USA/Canada. Books printed in very large quantities in China can be delivered for about $1.10 to $1.25 in USA/Canada. It is much the same story for batteries.

PS: Book printers are closing shop in USA and Canada and moving to China-India-Brazil-Peru etc to reduce their cost by a factor of two to three.

Many (non-wages) factors determine such wide cost margin.

1- Much lower factory building cost. Some factories get the land and building almost free.

2- Much lower real state local taxes.

3. Much lower local services cost.

4. Much lower energy cost.

5. Very much lower employees health and fringe benefits.

6. Less costly delays, can get in full production within a few months instead of years.

7. etc.


So, companies go where they can make the highest profits. There is nothing new there and that should come as no surprise. The U.S. can reduce benefits, wages and standards of living for working people and it will not benefit workers in developing countries all that much. The money that goes to contractors making products goes to the contractors and the workers get $1 per day in Viet Nam making Nike shoes.

Some politicians will tell you that this is good for the consumer, they get lower cost products. But the consumer has to have money to buy the products. Henry Ford had the right idea paying his workers $5 per day in the early 1900s. He wanted his factory workers to be able to buy the products that they produce. Henry was not a well educated man, but he had more common sense than most folks do today.


I wonder what would happen to the cost of low cost goods if they included carbon taxes with all externals added? Western brand owners are suffering revenue losses due to low quality goods turning away customers. When customers lose choice due to global monopolization of manufacturing - everyone loses - even the factory owners in the end. Unbelievable scenario.


It is a real lose lose situation. Global economies make the rich richer all over the world. I think some of the grand plan rhetoric is that it will improve the lives of people around the world. Look at a decade of NAFTA and Mexico. I do not see flourishing prosperity for the masses there, but you do see a few very rich people becoming richer.


The gas price is going up in very fast pace. Isn't it a good idea to rethink the eletric car? The BYD e6 seems attractive enough and the only problem is we don't see much detail so far.

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