BYD Auto, the Chinese automaker part-owned by a Warren Buffett company, plans to introduce a limited number of its e6 electric crossovers in the US next year, according to BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. BYD had showcased the e6 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January. (Earlier post.)
|The e6 at NAIAS in January. Click to enlarge.|
Wang said the company will use proceeds from a new share issue to finance the US introduction, as well as for another production line for its lithium iron phosphate batteries in China.
Wang said BYD will select a specific region in the US and target a few hundred e6s at government agencies, utilities and perhaps celebrities. BYD plans a similar entry strategy in Europe in 2011 or later.
|Inside the e6. Click to enlarge.|
In January at NAIAS, BYD said that it was BYD 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). BYD says that the e6 has a range of more than 400 km (249 miles).
In China, the e6 uses a 220V, 10A charge.