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BYD F3DM: Chevy Volt Technology, Cheaper, Chinese, Available Today


byd-f3dmIts 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.

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  1. BYD is largest manufacturer for batteries , if you takin abt gasoline / combustion engine , they are no way as experienced as the established player like VW or Toyota.
    However the most important thing to consider if you are talking about fully electric car , batteries are the source of power and BYD has got over a decade of head start in this field , and the rest of the car makers are just sratching the surface in electrical stored energy.

  2. Well, I agree with Kelly it is obvious that the Chinese have a good thing going; I mean Buffet doesn’t just buy 10 percent of a bad marketing scheme. I think the richest person in the world knows a little bit about what he’s investing in and you don’t see him sinkin’ any money in the big three. Our government on the other hand, still thinks you can make coal clean even after you tear off mountain tops and have huge slurry storage spills like the recent one in TN. Why didn’t we listen to Buffet when he warned us against the derivatives market too! We need new direction and I don’t mean Obama, I mean whole systems thinking. INNOVATE EVERYWHERE! If instead of propping our economy on the housing market we could have invested in innovation there is no way we would be in the mess we’re in now. Luckily good things may come of messes too. Lets hope so.

    I write at http://www.punkrockpermaculture.wordpress.com

  3. Lol!!!!

    This is a joke!! The amount of range this thing is described as having, while possible in the form factor, would still need to be huge. GM’s Volt has an all-electric range of 40 miles. This is NOT the total capacity of the battery. It is roughly double that. The problem with these batteries is that over repeated charging and depleting that the capacity of the battery degrades over time. Hence GM’s decision to only drain to about 30% and only charge up to about 80%. This prolongs the life of the battery.

    It is clear this Chinese manufacturer has merely removed any desire to engineer for longevity, allowing the full capacity of the battery. I am sure this thing comes with a worthless warranty. If the battery tech is superior, why aren’t Toyota and GM using it? Marketing BS.


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