Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BYD Auto Shows Off Their F3DM, F6DM and E6 Crossover

It is my opinion that BYD Auto from China has got it all together. They have beaten every major auto manufacturer by offering the production F3DM plug-in hybrid vehicle for sale in China, a full year before anyone will have one. Now they are showing us the upcoming F6DM (about the size and shape of a Camry) and the crossover battery electric E6. This company means business. You make dislike the company for being Chinese and make fun of their quality, or whether or not the cars will come with lead paint, but their business acumen is second to none.

BYD wants to be a world leader in the automotive sector and they are well on their way. Personally, I would buy the F3DM TODAY if it was offered in the US. As it stands, I will have to wait until 2011 and by then, I will hopefully have many more options. The pictures below are great.

More of this great story from Green Car Congress:

"China’s BYD Auto showed the production version of its F3DM (dual mode) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show. The PHEV, which has gone on-sale in China, will begin US sales in 2011, according to the company. The company also showed the F6DM, a larger version of the F3DM due to go onsale this year, as well as an all-new battery-electric crossover, the e6.

BYD Auto, which is a subsidiary of China-based BYD Group, the leading provider of NiCd batteries (65% global market share) and lithium-ion cell phone batteries (30% global market share), uses BYD lithium-ion iron phosphate cells in its energy storage system. BYD says that its battery packs retain 80% of initial capacity through 2,000 full charge and discharge cycles, and have a 10-year lifetime.

The dual mode system runs the vehicle on electricity at start-up and under short-to-mid-range conditions. When the vehicle needs more power during acceleration, the gasoline engines and the electric motor drive the wheels together (parallel hybrid mode), providing the most power output. The engine also serves as a range extender for the system under electric drive (series hybrid mode). (Earlier post.)

Dm1_2 Dm2_2
Cutaway model showing the engine and motor of the DM powertrain. Click to enlarge. Under the hood of the F3DM. Click to enlarge.

The F3DM. The powertrain combines a 50 kW (67 hp) 1.0-liter gasoline engine, a 25 kW generator and a 50 kW traction motor. Combined range is 360 miles (580 km) with a 100 km (62 mile) all-electric range. BYD says that the F3DM consumes ≤16 kWh/100km, or 258 Wh/mile. (To provide a comparison point, the Chevrolet Volt is designed to consume 8 kWh in 40 miles, or 200 Wh/mile.)

Acceleration from 0-60 mph is 10.5 seconds, with a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). The battery pack can be fully recharged from a household outlet in 7 hours. BYD says it can be quick charged to 50% capacity in 10 minutes.

The F6DM. The F6DM shares the same powertrain as that of the F3DM. Combined range is 267 miles (430 km) with an all-electric range of 62-miles (100km).

The e6. Click to enlarge.

The e6. BYD says it is planning four motor combinations for the e6, which can offer all-wheel drive with front and rear motors: 75 kW; 75 kW + 40 kW; 160 kW; and 160 kW + 40 kW. Electric power consumption will be less than 18 kWh/100km (290 Wh/mile).

Also present at the Detroit press conference was David Sokol, the chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, the Berkshire Hathaway unit that last year took a 10% stake in BYD. (Earlier post.)

Sokol said that MidAmerican invested in BYD primarily because of the battery technology. Sokol later told Reuters that whether or not BYD manufactured their own cars wasn’t relevant to MidAmerican, because the real expertise was in the development of the batteries, the motors and the control systems.

At the show, BYD chairman Wang Chuan-Fu said the company would consider licensing its low-cost battery technology.

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