Its name sounds like it’s taken out of Star Trek. Still, this is Chinese technology kicking some much bigger butts all over the world. BYD, the Chinese cell phone battery maker unveils today the F3DM, an all-electric sedan designed to show some more capitalist, more prudent, oil-led giant companies like Chevrolet, GM or Toyota, that you can do a decent electric car with a low price and high expectations.
While Mercedes unveiled a few days ago their latest hybrid car, and everybody is “struggling” to reduce prices, increase battery mileage and find alternate solutions to postpone their electric cars until 2010, 2012 or 2015, the BYD F3DM has inside a technology similar to Chevy’s Volt. For those who didn’t yet find out, that is: the car is propelled totally using electric motors, and when the battery depletes, it has an ICE (Internal Combution Engine – you know, like that in your car) charging the battery, like those gasoline powered electricity generators do.
The battery is LiFePO4, having several advantages over the standard Li-Ion that everybody is using (stability, increased life, weight). The battery is able to drive the car about 128 km (some say 109km – remains to be tested), after which the ICE kicks in. DM comes from Dual Mode – the hybrid ability.
A blogger who drove the F3DM a few days ago, said: ” I drove it the other day, and it really is remarkable. In one way, it is a rather ordinary compact saloon car, though it did have exceptional acceleration when I put my foot down zooming round the factory grounds in Shenzhen, the vast new Chinese city just north of Hong Kong.”
The car has been presented at the Geneva Auto Show this spring, and has been watched with skepticism by some higher famous motor companies officials (it’s normal, isn’t it?)
F3DM’s price is expected to be somewhere to about the equivalent of $22,000 to $25,000 – the price of a standard Prius. It will firstly be sold on the Chinese market (a few Chinese cab companies have already signet contracts for their car fleets), several tests and safety certifications having to be done to sell it in Europe and the US. This has proven one more time that the Chinese economy is strong and their capacity to produce cheap things (at some costs by them – you wouldn’t want to know the Chinese workers’ restrictions) didn’t lose over time. This is no proof that their political regime is better, but it is rather an alarm sign to the rest of the world who hasn’t been able to do what those guys did due to “economical” reasons. BS.