The First Mass Produced Plugin Hybrid In the World comes from…CHINA. Build Your Dreams - is simply named ‘BYD’ a new Car company that intends to make new green cars. They went on sale Dec 19th 2008, and normal people ( in CHINA ) are driving them. They cost $22,000 or so. There is something to this since MidAmerican ( aka Berkshire Hathaway / Warren Buffet ) likes it enough to invest in it.
“We are thrilled to be partners with BYD and the people of China. Mr. Wang Chuanfu has an extraordinary managerial record, and we welcome the opportunity to work with him,” said Warren E. Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
“MidAmerican is pleased to make an investment in BYD – a high-caliber organization, committed to making a dramatic environmental impact with their products,” said David Sokol, chairman of MidAmerican. “As worldwide discussions relating to global climate change and environmental respect continue, the technologies being developed by BYD will be an integral part of the future.”
These are great little cars, based mostly on the Battery Technology used in them, the 1 liter generator is rather a normal and proven system. The great part is that they dont look all space-cadet stupid future car in styling. ( unlike GM that thinks electric means change the basic sedan into a funky retrocrappy scifi look ) These are cars you will actually want to buy, using sensible hybrid components and normal car parts.
They Made History
On Monday Dec 19th , BYD Auto began selling the first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car in the world.
Excerpts From NYT:
Unlike conventional gas-electric hybrids, the F3DM can be charged from a wall outlet. No supid fancy proprietary adapter nozzle plug. ( Tesla, VOLT etc all use nonstandard plugs making them useless if you run out of gas and power away from home )
It has a range of about 60 miles on a full battery charge. Its lithium-ion batteries can be fully recharged in as little as seven hours, said BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams. And the batteries can be 50 percent recharged at a special station in 10 minutes.
The car also has a 1-liter gas engine, which, according to media reports (Treehugger and Autoblog Green), recharges the batteries to extend the range.
BYD Auto only began building cars in 2003.
Note that…. If you are a smart shopper you will not likely be getting your next car from the big 3 and unlikely changes in corporate behavior just do not take place. Expect: more like Toyota, Honda, BYD, Fisker… these are can-do companies that get it done.
For those of you keeping score, BYD Auto has beaten General Motors and Toyota in bringing a plug-in hybrid to market. The Chevrolet Volt goes on sale at the end of 2010. Toyota is planning a plug-in hybrid, also for 2010.
“The development of electric-powered vehicles is the best way for the Chinese auto industry to surpass other leading countries,” Wang Chuanfu, BYD’s founder and chairman, told reporters at an unveiling ceremony in Shenzhen.
Mr. Wang added that the F3DM, with a price of about $22,000, initially will be aimed at government agencies and corporate customers. READ: Rally support for ramping up big-time.
CTN green really likes that car, its price-point and sensiblility.
America, usually in First Place, is now forever fighting for the bronze in an area we should have totally captured by now.