Skip to main content

One thing both sides of the Big Three bridge loan controversy seem to agree on is that American automakers have been super-slow to develop energy-saving new technologies and get them to market.

One example of a quicker way comes from China, where a 13-year-old battery-maker will begin marketing a plug-in hybrid car tomorrow, according to the BBC.

The BYD (Build Your Dreams, according to its website) F3DM has a fully charged battery range of 80 miles, twice that of the much-hyped Chevy Volt, which will not be available for sale until late 2010.

A fascinating story, below.  

Peter Day of the BBC, who admits at the start that "cars leave me cold,"  took a spin in the F3DM and was impressed by its "exceptional acceleration" and "almost silent" operation.

He's even more impressed by the company's story:

BYD evolved, starting with rechargeable batteries that soon became standard parts for one third of all the world's mobile phones, following the research speciality of the founder and chairman Wang Chuanfu.

And the modest battery-making company grew and grew.

Wang Chuanfu soon saw that battery-powered cars might be the future.

BYD knew a lot about batteries, and it was not daunted by the complexities of car-making either.

Six years ago, it bought two established Chinese car firms, and now BYD has seven huge plants with 130,000 employees.


Car making is less difficult than high technology, they argue, and many of the techniques they have learned in high tech can now be applied to the automobile.

Despite its relative youth as a company, BYD already has a museum about itself, and has plans to be the No. 1 car-maker in China in 2015, and No. 1 in the world by 2025.  

BYD's future prospects have attracted the attention of Warren Buffett, who invested $230 million for a 10 percent stake in BYD in September.

It's a given that American manufacturers competing with Chinese manufacturers are at several disadvantages -- labor costs, environmental regulations, health care/insurance costs, tax policies, currency manipulation, etc.

The BYD story highlights, in an essential industry, another disadvantage -- the nimbleness of a new Chinese auto-maker, compared to the unstated, decades-long refusal of Big Three executives to support real energy-saving innovations that will make it into dealer showrooms.  

Originally posted to devtob on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 07:50 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site