## BYD Has Sold 80 Units of F3DM Plug-in Since December

##### 13 April 2009

China Radio International (CRI). Shenzhen, China-based BYD Auto has sold 80 units of its F3DM (dual-mode) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (earlier post), 20 of them to the Shenzhen government. The remainder are in use by China Construction Bank’s Shenzhen branch.

Targeting such price-insensitive buyers was part of the preliminary sales plan, according to Wang Chuanfu, president of BYD Auto. However, ongoing group orders have not materialized.

Apart from the high price of the vehicle, BYD attributed the results to a lack of charging stations, no supporting policies in this area and a stagnant auto market. Other concerns include the battery pack itself.

...battery charging will take nine hours if using a household power supply...Battery quality is also a concern. According to sources, the Fe battery groups usually see high defective rates since it is difficult to ensure all the batteries are produced using the same procedure and the same materials.

Although BYD claimed that their F3DM’s can travel 100 km purely on battery, doubts have also been raised, saying the announced coverage figure is based on the test at a constant low speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) and such batteries can not support them in daily use.

BYD is aggressive in their approach to this. They are putting out cars in a setting that might be considered Beta in development. Customers are close and are willing to take some rough spots as long as the product is supported.

Nothing wrong with using its own government to finance development and road test new technologies.

Déjà vu all over again with the F3DM (dual-mode) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
BYD (the manufacturer) says:
Only 80 units sold in 4 months
- 20 of them to the Shenzhen government.
- 60 to the China Construction Bank’s Shenzhen branch.
Ongoing group orders have not materialized (they claim).
Results attributed to
- the high price of the vehicle,
- lack of charging stations
- no supporting policies in this area
- a stagnant auto market.
Battery charging will take nine hours using a household power
Battery quality high defective
Doubts of the claimed 100 km on battery

It’s obvious what’s happening here.
Rick Wagoner recently resigned from GM.
He went to BTD.
The Chinese government can recall and crush these cars even if they are bought, not leased.

Kudos to BYD for trying to push the boundaries.

Some people get their jollies attacking innovators. It makes them feel superior but it actually just makes them look uneducated and foolish.

If GM hadn't crushed the ev1 they may not be bankrupt (in more ways than one).

Prius sales were slow at first.

And everyone thought Toyota was stupid for pursuing advanced technology and making a loss on every car.

But look at them now....

GM could be almost where Toyota is now.
"Almost" because an all electric 2 seater like the EV1 would be even less desirable and more costly than the old Insight, certainly less desirable than the Prius.

So GM could be making a 4 seat hybrid or BEV with American factory costs.

But OK, lets say GM could be half way to where Toyota is with their Prius.

And where is that?
Probably 1% of the market.
ALL hybrids are only 2.5% of the market.
Nowhere.

Look at them now
That's exactly what people are doing - Just looking at them.

Yes, you are right toppatom, trying something new is stupid unless it immediately takes over the market.

I mean look at the Otto cycle engine, within 6 months of its invention it had been adopted by millions of people around the world... right?

Just look at the automobile. This country had a bunch of oil refineries, filling stations and highways and here everybody was just clomping around with a bunch of stupid horses. As soon as the automobile was built it immediately, within 5 years had diffused throughout the world.

I am sure glad people like toppatom can point out worthless innovations because society is perfectly fine the way it is. Nothing needs to change except maybe abolishing unions, lowering wages and eliminating worker rights.

Trying to sell a new type of car that is not profitable is particularly stupid when it will capture less than 2.5% of the market after 10 years. Toyota has spent billions for the right to wear the green jacket.

Maybe a good PR idea, but probably NOT for a struggling US car maker. They are going for the green jacket now with the Volt (It is STILL not yet time for a BEV)– but it’s their call not yours.

I mean look at the early autos. It took years of evolution and failed auto and engine makers before the cycle engine auto technology came together in the model T in 1914.

Where do you get off, demanding a privately owned company sacrifice their future for your idea of the car people SHOULD want to buy, but don’t.

I am sure glad people like jimfromthefoothills can point out just what our industries should do because the EV1 was perfectly fine. Nothing else is required except maybe abolishing big cars, SUVs and work trucks, paying non-competitively high wages and eliminating industry’s rights.

If GM had been forced to build the EV1 and been prohibited from making large vehicles we would not have today’s problems.

GM would be but a memory and we would be driving Corollas, Accords, Camrys, Titans, Highlanders, Armadas and Tundras.
Oh, and Toyota may or may not have decided to build the Prius, just for the prestige.

wow, that was a bit confusing but I will try to answer.

You do know that it took a long time to create a profitable auto industry (your dates are off by a few decades but never mind) but for some reason you don't think that an investment in new technology is ever wise unless it meets market share numbers? You cite the hybrid market share as the authoritative data that proves your point? Did you know that the Toyota and Honda hybrid programs are profitable businesses? In fact, the Prius program may be more valuable than GM and Chrysler put together!

Your next point is something about me "telling companies what to do". Perhaps you are aware that we live in a democracy and we pass laws on what can be sold. For example cars must have seat belts. You can do some more research on this subject when you get back from your tea bag tax revolt meeting.

As far as your non-competitive wages remark. Look up Henry Ford and see his views on wages. If western car companies are going to try to compete on wages they will lose. In any case, a modern car only takes something like 15 or 20 man hours to build anyway.

What is confusing to me is why someone who professes to hate environmental legislation, denies that global warming is real, wants to destroy unions and worker rights, thinks all new technology is "stupid or weird" would come to a leading scientific blog devoted to green energy innovations.

While a profitable auto industry was being created many brave visionaries and their fledgling companies failed.
The auto industry would have been delayed without their enthusiasm and sacrifices. But they were not (nor was Henry Ford nor is GM today) morally or ethically obligated to pursue such dreams; regardless of whether it will or will not meet market share numbers. It's that simple.

Per Irv Miller, Toyota VP, the Prius only makes a profit if you claim future sales.
http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-hybrid-news/5070-prius-making-profit. html

Western car companies MUST compete on wages. How can they not?
You say ' they will lose". They ARE loosing - where have you been?

A car takes 34.3 hours (GM) to 27.9 hrs (Toyota), not 15 to 20. And the disparity is due largely to job banks and union contract restrictions on modernization.

Your claim that I want to destroy unions and worker unearned rights is of no consequence.

If unions and union worker demand excess compensation with no concern for the destruction of 2 of the 3 major US auto makers (2 of 3 and counting), it does
matter. Or it did matter. It's done.
They win, we loose. We're done.

First of all, please use the spell check before you post. losing NOT loosing. you did it twice so it was not a typo.

With all due respect to answers.yahoo.com, please refer to this article from businessweek in 2006 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_07/b3971057.htm . this is a little better source than a random posting to the internet. No more than 20 hours to build a car.

Here is an article about wages (which you call excessive) from Rupert's WSJ. http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/auto-workers-rescue-them-or-not/ Chinese and Indian workers make about $5 per hour. Wages will not be how American manufacturing competes. If toppatom thinks that American auto workers will work for$5 an hour, or even $10 per hour he is mistaken. American manufacturers must innovate. toppatom bashes innovation every chance he gets, whether it be ev1 or BYD. I do not mind teaching him but unless I see some sign of learning, I will give up. Toppatom, do you even read the links you post???? your citation of priuschat (the authoritative source!) that says toyota isn't making money was from 2004!!!!! if you read it it says they were making money in 2004. since then they have sold about 1 million Prius models. How come innovators from 100 years ago are "brave visionaries" but BYD and the ev1 are open to your scorn? I apologize for any damage caused by mixing “losing” and “loosing”; it’s not the first time. I don't think GCC has a spell checker? I use MSWord; but it would have to have a very innovative syntax checker to know I meant “losing”; “The bare stole to pare of shoos four his bear feat”, sales right threw it. My point was that Toyota's profitability is privileged information and they can balance the books any way they like. But 2% of the market puts it with the Saturn and the Hummer (in profitability) – at least so far. I would buy a Prius or a Volt instantly if they were worth the money. But good technological innovation results in profitability. Your 2006 source underscores the fact that US auto makers cannot compete well with the "foreign-domestics". Of course American auto workers will not work for$5 an hour or \$10 per hour – that is my point.

Innovation is not a panacea, as evidenced by the EV1 and BYD.

I am always willing to learn, but I prefer to learn the truth. I also like to teach; good manners for instance. By merely suggesting it, many people will respond positively. Please make your next post more polite.

I do not scorn the EV1 or the BYD. The BYD is likely to put Toyota where GM is today.

I scorn the claptrap weird engines that have no redeeming technological value and are pushed by scam artists on the gullible.

The comments to this entry are closed.