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BYD Shows Production F3DM PHEV and F6DM in Detroit; Introduces Battery-Electric e6 Crossover

The F3DM plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.

China’s BYD Auto showed the production version of its F3DM (dual mode) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show. The PHEV, which has gone on-sale in China, will begin US sales in 2011, according to the company. The company also showed the F6DM, a larger version of the F3DM due to go onsale this year, as well as an all-new battery-electric crossover, the e6.

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 BYD lithium-ion iron phosphate cells in its energy storage system. BYD says that its battery packs retain 80% of initial capacity through 2,000 full charge and discharge cycles, and have a 10-year lifetime.

The dual mode system runs the vehicle on electricity at start-up and under short-to-mid-range conditions. When the vehicle needs more power during acceleration, the gasoline engines and the electric motor drive the wheels together (parallel hybrid mode), providing the most power output. The engine also serves as a range extender for the system under electric drive (series hybrid mode). (Earlier post.)

Dm1_2 Dm2_2
Cutaway model showing the engine and motor of the DM powertrain. Click to enlarge. Under the hood of the F3DM. Click to enlarge.

The F3DM. The powertrain combines a 50 kW (67 hp) 1.0-liter gasoline engine, a 25 kW generator and a 50 kW traction motor. Combined range is 360 miles (580 km) with a 100 km (62 mile) all-electric range. BYD says that the F3DM consumes ≤16 kWh/100km, or 258 Wh/mile. (To provide a comparison point, the Chevrolet Volt is designed to consume 8 kWh in 40 miles, or 200 Wh/mile.)

Acceleration from 0-60 mph is 10.5 seconds, with a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). The battery pack can be fully recharged from a household outlet in 7 hours. BYD says it can be quick charged to 50% capacity in 10 minutes.

The F6DM. The F6DM shares the same powertrain as that of the F3DM. Combined range is 267 miles (430 km) with an all-electric range of 62-miles (100km).

The e6. Click to enlarge.

The e6. BYD says it is planning four motor combinations for the e6, which can offer all-wheel drive with front and rear motors: 75 kW; 75 kW + 40 kW; 160 kW; and 160 kW + 40 kW. Electric power consumption will be less than 18 kWh/100km (290 Wh/mile).

Also present at the Detroit press conference was David Sokol, the chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, the Berkshire Hathaway unit that last year took a 10% stake in BYD. (Earlier post.)

Sokol said that MidAmerican invested in BYD primarily because of the battery technology. Sokol later told Reuters that whether or not BYD manufactured their own cars wasn’t relevant to MidAmerican, because the real expertise was in the development of the batteries, the motors and the control systems.

At the show, BYD chairman Wang Chuan-Fu said the company would consider licensing its low-cost battery technology.


HealthyBreeze how much do they cost?

Sure, there could be quality issues, and compliance issues, and BYD might even be selling them at a loss at first, to try to win more OEM battery business, but as a point of reference...what do they cost?

Also, what is the PHEV's fuel efficiency? I know this can be gamed. I honestly think a useful MPG number for PHEV would be to run it down to 10% charge, then drive it for 1,000 miles and tell how much gas you used...but nobody else seems to report PHEV fuel economy in that apples-to-apples way. However, judging from the 67 hp, 1.0 liter gas engine, I'm guessing this is in the 60-70 Mpg range of the original Honda Insight.

This ties into my comment about GM being a Johnny-come-lately with their announcement yesterday of a battery research partnership with University of Michigan.

It's the Batteries, Stupid. Future automanufacturers have to have core competency in batteries, otherwise they are not really in the powertrain business; they're just a parts supplier.


How much do they cost you ask?
About $22,000


sorry; wrong html, try


It's great to see innovation, where ever its from.

The e6 power options: 75 kW; 75 kW + 40 kW; 160 kW; and 160 kW + 40 kW seems to convert to 100hp, 154hp, 214hp, and 268hp - is that right? What weight and mileage ranges?


Of course, the batteries will probably be the only part of these cars that *don't* contain lead.


Actualy the fuel econ likely isnt so great as the battery pack alone weighs ALOT. Remember its a 20kwh pack using just 80 wh/kg cells and the 330 wh/kg cells in the volt wind up weighing 160 kg after packaging and cooling and all.


No - They are painted with lead paint. Don't lick them.


1970's Honda cars were at first mocked. If you carry a cell phone, you likely carry some part that's BYD/Chinese. BYD may become a common car here soon.


Chinese cars will have an advantage when trying to break into the American market: They wont have to set-up any dealerships, they can just sell the cars through Wal-mart. lol


Yes but if you get it at wal mart you know it will come without batteries and in a dang clamshell pack.. And the batteries will be out of stock.


Hybrid manufactures are falling well behind while quoting 20 - 30% "Improvement over non Hybrid"
Failing to mention that there are new ice designs ie direct injection that are also gaining these figures and then some.
The hybrids seem almost conspiratorial in their universally low fuel economy figures.

Of course its the batteries.

Auto environs are arduous and car makers need to specify requirements. Economies of scale, and development will favor specialist suppliers every time.

I don't know about core competency though.
Good communications for optimising battery life etc but not more than they need to manufacture tyres or electronic components these are made very cheaply.
R&D is a separate issue where good communication even collaboration is likely a workable and productive area especially as innovation and change should be expected to accelerate over the next decades.

There are many examples of distributed royalties for collaboration in patents and separate R&D co.s supports the research dept.


"Chinese cars..they can just sell the cars through Wal-mart. lol"

40 years ago, imagine buying computers at Wal-mart. lol

20 yo, imagine buying anything on the internet. lol

Now, people are buying (Chinese)dune buggies at Wal-mart(Sam's). lol

.. catching on lol..

Peace Hugger

"No - They are painted with lead paint. Don't lick them."

If they are, you won't get the chance to lick them becz they will be recalled.


@ Arnold,

My point is that if the batteries cost $8K-$10K, then the only way to be profit leader making cars is to make your own batteries, too.


This is not innovation.
It's simply locally supplied cheap batteries made with cheap labor put together in an auto with cheap labor.
What I mean is, if McDonald's gives free Chinese toys (that US could make for $5) with the kid’s meal, what should we expect.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
They will bury us.


Their problem is drastic crash of export market. Imports way off and revised GDP below 7%. With no exports, no cash circulates and no one to buy stuff.

Dealer network unnecessary since there are no repairs needed. Just drop it at the crusher and pick up a replacement at WalMat.


Ok, so they made it first to the market and at about 1/2 the cost.. but the Volt will still will be the FIRST built in the free world. (joke from the 1960's space race for you humor impaired greenies.. you know who you are!)

Does the $7500 subsidy apply to the BYD?


Wintermane, you have links for these numbers?, I think 330wh/kg is optimistic for the volt batteries and 80wh/kg too pesimistic for LiFe batteries.

Remember its a 20kwh pack using just 80 wh/kg cells and the 330 wh/kg cells in the volt wind up weighing 160 kg after packaging and cooling and all.

Posted by: wintermane2000 | January 13, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Peace Hugger

@ Herm

"Ok, so they made it first to the market and at about 1/2 the cost.. but the Volt will still will be the FIRST built in the free world. (joke from the 1960's space race for you humor impaired greenies.. you know who you are!)"

Free is relative. And from whose point of view? Their leaders score higher approval ratings than Bush.


Can you think of anybody who wouldn't score higher approval ratings than Bush?

Peace Hugger

The fcous should be the goverment policies rather than the type of government and whether the leaders help themselves to material wealth inordinately when they in a position.


Perhaps, but if they had scored low, could the chinese people have changed their leaders?

China is not far from economic mayhem and starvation..

I guess you did not get the joke.. I was going to ask if you wear sandals and are a vegetarian but I better not.


Free is relative. And from whose point of view? Their leaders score higher approval ratings than Bush.

Posted by: PeaceHugger | January 13, 2009 at 07:46 PM


Herm the volt batteries have always been stated to be 330 wh/kg at the cell level. Thats why they are spendy. Dont have links because its been so long since I was told it was 330.

As for the 80 wh/kg byd itself gave the number way back when they first announced the batteries. They say they will hit something like 110-140 wh/kg for the batteries in 5 years. Its VERY difficult to get numbers from them since then but I got that number from a link to an earlier article on byd batteries from before they went into cars on the very battery they are now using. And no I have no idea how I found that link as with most info I find I just got googlificaly lucky that day.


The Volt batteries (both from LG-Chem as chosen, or from A123 as contenders) are around 110 Wh/kg at the cell level, and 95 Wh/kg at the pack level. The pack is 170 kg, 16 kWh with ~50% SOC utilisation.

The very best lithium-ion cells are at around 220 Wh/kg (Sony 18650 cobalt oxide based), only the pre-market chemistries like lithium-sulphur achieve over 300 Wh/kg.


Many compliments to this chinese firm that had the courage to propose a product that any other car manufacturer is scared to sell at the moment.
It will be interesting to see how many people will buy them. It's quite expensive for the chinese market, given that middle class chinese are not so environmentally concerned, and so it's mainly oriented to the american market.
I will be quite concerned about the duration of the batteries, and the reliability of a chinese car. But luckily there will be some early adopters that will test and demonstrate the feasibility of the concept.

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