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BYD Will Push Back Non-China PHEV Sales to 2011

Reuters. BYD will begin selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicles outside of China in 2011 rather than 2010, according to BYD chairman Wang Chuan Fu.

BYD, which is 10 percent owned by US investor Warren Buffett, originally aimed to sell the hybrid cars abroad in 2010 but Wang would not give any reasons for the delay. The firm officially launched the F3DM on Monday and said it will sell a total of 50 units of the hybrid cars to the Shenzhen municipal government and China Construction Bank.

The F3DM plug-in hybrid (earlier post) is available in 14 Chinese cities at 149,800 yuan ($21,890)—approximately double the price of a similar-sized gasoline-powered car in China. BYD is targeting corporate buyers first. The company is also in talks with state power grid operators on establishing recharging facilities.

Wang told reporters the price was a bit high but it was lower than the same type of cars on sales in overseas markets. “If the government can provide supportive measures such as tax incentives, the price of the cars can be reduced to the level that the public can afford,” Wang said.


Peace Hugger

Oh, shyt!


Another evidence that the road to electrified cars will be paved with traps and hurddles that will be deceptive for enthusiast of electric cars.
It will come, but much slower than some claim. Battery technology has always been slow to progress, the reason is that it requires breakthrough in material technology, developp and qualify a new material for mass use has always been slow (Iron is still the core of our auto industry 3000 years after the start of the iron age...more than 30 000 different material that can be potential candidate for battery electrode, it takes years to explore only one, so ...

Andrey Levin

And what is wrong with steel?

Personally, I am making knifes with dendrite C440, CPM 3V, and super-high carbon traditional Wutz (aka genuine Damascus) which could scratch glass bottles.


As Tree says, the road to electrification may not run smoothly.
But we are making progress, even as battery development takes longer than expected we are getting better at the rest of it - engines, controls and systems.

The future car may well end up as some kind of serial hybrid, with a small, highly optimized genset rather than the ICE we know, coupled with a rather puny battery, which can nonetheless be charged at night.
And people who live in mountainous regions will need larger gensets than people in flat regions.


So the premium for plug-in capability is about $11,000 and this means that BYD also need to spend about $500 per kWh of lithium batteries. It also means that either the price of oil must be $6 per gallon or the car must get a hefty $8000 subsidy to make economic sense at $1.6 per gallon. For high end cars like Fisker that premium doesn’t really matter. So this is the kind of cars we should expect to be successful with plug-in technology. Same go for pure EVs. I doubt EVs or PHEVs can be sold as small cars with the current prices on gas and without a subsidy.

The way to go forward is to subsidize the buying of PHEVs and EVs in order to make them economically attractive for everybody. Soon enough oil will be back at minimum $3 per gallon because the marginal cost of oil drilling is about $80 per barrel and increasing so $40 is not sustainable for more than a year or two even in an economic recession. It only costs $80 billion a year for the US to give an $8000 vehicle subsidy to the production of 10 million EVs and 50 miles electric only PHEVs. This will guarantee oil independence in the long-run and enable at least $80 billion of annual savings on the defense budget. The same can be said about Europe, Japan and China so subsidies are the way forward to secure oil independence, reduce CO2 pollution, particle pollution and to support the transition of electricity generation form fossil fuels to wind power and other renewable energy sources.


Andre Lievin

There is absolutely nothing wrong with steel, my point was only to illustrate the fact that breaktrough in material technology are inherently slow and once you have developp a new material it might take a looong time before you find something better. The problem of EV vehicle is that you can do ultra-efficient light vehicle (Aptera or Venture Car type) that can get 100MPG with ICE or HEV, when you get 100MPG you can still drive to you heart content until the gas price reach 12$/Gallon, and also biofuel can then become important at this point. The combination of biofuel with ultra efficient light ICE car can postpone the electric car for quite a while.

By the way does anybody have information about the new Toshiba SICB battery, they claimn 8000 cycles, fast recharge capabilities, and up to 80Wh/kg and an outstanding power peak density. Scam or real ?


Henrick - we are seeing the subsidy route in the US. It is what will bring the Volt price below $30k. Which is still not accessible to masses - but should kick start plug-in sales in the NA markets come 2010.

The Ford Fusion hybrid selling for $27k just released EPA certification of 41MPG/36 hiway which beats the Camry and Honda Civic on fuel economy.

BYDs problems will deepen as the impact of economic contraction shuts down more orders for overseas goods.


Hey folks remember its still 2x the cost of a normal chinese luxury car. Thats bloody spendy for china. Its also far more expensive then they had hoped for.


The initial cost of 20+ KWh battery packs are similar to the cost of early high performance PC, laptops, Laser printers, High capacity data storage disk, large LCD HDTV, full HDTVs etc.

It took about 10 to 20 years before their cost tumbled ten folds while their performance multiplied by 10 to 30 times.

In 10 to 20 years times, todays ($12+K, 16 KWh, 80 Wh/Kg) battery packs will be more like ($2K, 60 KWh, 500 Wh/Kg) and will be as common place as todays large low cost LCD HDTVs.

One way to reduce the normal development and mass prodcution times would be with a massive ($$$ B) multi-national investment plan to accellerate R & D and setup large automated production plants. Otherwise, the ideal high performance affordable battery pack may not be around for 1+ decades.


It will be interesting to see if BYD can enter the U.S. without violating a gazillion patents. They openly admit reverse engineering and digging through patents and products created by other companies in order to streamline their R&D process. The Goodenough lithium phosphate patent may create a barrier if BYD truly did infringe, which seems likely to me.

According to the article:
'He studied Sony and Sanyo patents and took apart batteries to understand how they were made, a "process that involved much trial and error," he says. (Sony and Sanyo later sued BYD, unsuccessfully, for infringing on their patents.)'

But where did they litigate? Not here, that's for sure.

I've driven in BYD cars, they are bottom of the barrel, even in Africa, which is where I drove them. It will be early adopter's who go electric first in the U.S., not necessarily budget conscious people, who may prefer to buy a used Corolla or another similar car.

I'm skeptical that BYD could deliver the level of safety that U.S. consumers expect without making sacrifices on price at this point. In the years to come I wouldn't be surprised if they gradually worked their way upmarket, just like every other Asian automaker has done.

BYD is smart to stay out of the U.S. for the time being.

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