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From Huffpo and Elaine Kurtenbach

SHANGHAI, China — Battery maker turned car company BYD Co. has launched China's first homegrown hybrid vehicle for the retail market, seeking an edge over its crisis-stricken international rivals.

BYD presented the vehicle, known as the F3DM, in a ceremony in the southern city of Shenzhen, where local officials have pledged to buy some of the cars in support of the project.

The vehicle can run up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) on its electric engine, and when it runs low on power shifts to a back up gasoline engine. Its battery can fully charge in nine hours from a regular electrical outlet, or much faster at BYD's own charging stations, the company said in a statement.

And wouldn't you know, there's a progressive behind it. Warren Buffett and B.H. own 9.9% of BYD which stands for Build Your Dreams

Buffett and this homegrown Chinese battery-turned automotive company have beat the Chevy Volt to market with their plug in. This is the BYD F3DM..

hybrid.

The car will sell for 149,800 yuan ($22,000), about the same as many Chinese-made mid-sized cars, it said...

General Motors Corp.'s own plug-in electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, is due to roll out in late 2010. Toyota Motor Corp. also is pushing to get a plug-in electric vehicle to market in 2010, while Ford Motor Co., says it is five years away from producing them in significant numbers.

and one more nugget from the Huffpo article

Last week, China's Ministry of Science and Technology and the U.S. Department of Energy agreed to collaborate on alternative fuel vehicles, focusing on battery performance, testing and evaluation _ areas bound to dovetail well with BYD's own approach


This picture is the F6DM from BYD, (picture from Car and Driver)

Car and Driver sure was impressed in March

Established only five years ago, China's BYD Auto is proving it’s a fast learner, at least when it comes to drowning out neighboring press conferences at the 2008 Geneva auto show so the Shenzhen-based automaker could showcase its dual-mode hybrid, the F3DM sedan.

BYD is no stranger to battery technology. The company is currently the world’s largest producer of cell-phone batteries. But its automotive subsidiary showed its savvy when Rolls-Royce began its own press conference just as BYD was unveiling the F3DM. The Chinese hybrid’s moment of glory looked lost forever as a Rolls executive touted his company’s success—until a BYD representative grabbed a microphone to loudly proclaim his own company’s gratitude to the crowd and his optimism regarding the future of the F3DM sedan.

and finally from Wiki-

The automaker expects to boost total sales to 350,000 cars next year from an expected 180,000 this year, founder and Chairman Wang Chuanfu told reporters in Shenzhen Dec 15th, 2008. U.S. sales of the F3 DM will likely start in 2011, Wang said.

From treehugger.com

BYD says the F3DM has a range of 100 km (62 miles) on battery power alone with a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph). The 330V, 40 Ah Li-ion pack has life of more than 2,000 cycles, according to BYD Auto. On a household 220V power supply, a full recharge takes 8 to 9 hours.

The DM powertrain incorporates BYD’s own 50 kW 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter BYD371QA aluminum engine, and has a combined maximum output of 125 kW...
Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Flexibility
One interesting feature of the drivetrain is its flexibility. It actually has three modes of operation: * Full battery-powered electric mode * Series-hybrid mode, in which an engine drives a generator to recharge the batteries, acting as a range-extender like in the Chevy Volt * Parallel hybrid mode, in which the engine and motor both provide propulsive power, like in the Toyota Prius

There were a couple other diaries (that I found halfway through making this diary), but nothing with pictures or as comprehensive of citations and info. Will your next car be Chinese - and Electric?
Chinese firm markets plug-in hybrid

Many interesting questions need to be asked. First, is this car of interest to our Progressive community. After all we are very pro-union, and being a Chinese made car, I doubt they're unionized. Secondly, our domestic industry is struggling so hard fighting foreign transplants, that a strong foreign import like this could be more blue news for Detroit. I'm sure we all cheer the idea of China putting a 1/2 million electric vehicles on the road, I would cheer greatly if it were any other time.

UPDATE!!: I'm sorry this is a complete nonsequitar- But everyone should see this comment by Thom Hartmann today on Countdown. It should be permanently tattooed into the brains of Democratic pundits and pols everywhere! This is so short and concise and damning if people were talking like this during campaign season...

when Reagan came into office we were the largest exporter of manufacturing goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet. And, the largest creditor—more people owed us money than anybody else in the world. Now, just 28 years later, we’re the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods; the largest exporter of raw materials—which is kind of the definition of a third-world nation—and we’re the most in-debt of any country in the world. This is the absolute consequence of Reaganomics.

Originally posted to CornSyrupAwareness on Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 11:45 PM PST.

Poll

If you were in the market for a new car what would it be?

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| 84 votes | Vote | Results

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