BYD, one of China’s top independent automobile manufacturers and a world leader in green technology, said it plans to enter the US market in 2011 with a range of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
BYD’s future lineup will include the F3DM, the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid sedan, and the battery-powered e6, a mid-size five-passenger crossover vehicle with a remarkable range of up to 400km on a single charge.
Speaking from the floor of the North American International Auto Show, BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu (pictured) also said the company plans to set up manufacturing facilities in the US “when it is appropriate.”
Underpinning the company’s strategic vision of “green tech for tomorrow” is BYD’s own Fe battery. The Fe battery is extremely safe, environmentally friendly and affordable. It can be quick-charged to 50 per cent of capacity in only 10 minutes, and will have a life cycle of more than 10 years.
The Fe battery is used in the e6 electric crossover vehicle, as well as BYD’s new Dual Mode family of plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the compact F3DM sedan and the mid-size F6DM sedan, which can run in either pure-electric or hybrid-electric mode.
At the Detroit conference, Wang was joined by David Sokol, chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, the energy wing of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which last fall acquired a 10 per cent stake in BYD Auto’s parent company, BYD Company Ltd.
Sokol said, “We are working with BYD on developing charging technologies and infrastructure that would help promote plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. For the electric-vehicle market to mature, the underlying charging infrastructure and technologies must mature at least simultaneously, if not first. Perhaps like no other corporate entity in the world, we are in a position to help make that happen.”
Sokol, who is a member of BYD’s board of directors, also said MidAmerican Energy Holdings is working with BYD on demonstration projects that will allow the partners to store energy from such renewable sources as wind and solar, to be deployed into the grid when needed.
BYD Auto Company, based in Shenzhen, China, is emerging as a leader in pure electric and plug-in hybrid petrol-electric vehicles, as well as advanced battery technology. It is a subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd., the world’s second largest producer of rechargeable batteries and a supplier of IT components to Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and others.