BYD Auto’s plug-in hybrid version of its F3 (F3DM for dual mode) went on sale in China today for about 150,000 yuan (about US$21,900). BYD plans to bring the F3DM to the US in 2010, and will show the car at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January.
|The F3DM. Click to enlarge.|
The dual-mode powertrains actually supports three modes of operation:
- Full battery-powered EV mode;
- Series-hybrid mode, in which an engine drives a generator as a range-extender; and
- Parallel hybrid mode, in which the engine and motor both provide propulsive power.
BYD Auto, which 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), uses lithium-ion iron phosphate cells from its parent company in its energy storage system.
BYD says the F3DM has a range of 100 km (62 miles) on battery power alone with a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph). The 330V, 40 Ah Li-ion pack has life of more than 2,000 cycles, according to BYD Auto. On a household 220V power supply, a full recharge takes 8 to 9 hours.
The DM powertrain incorporates BYD’s own 50 kW 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter BYD371QA aluminum engine, and has a combined maximum output of 125 kW.
BYD Auto says it plans to begin production of all-electric vehicles in 2009.