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We told you the other day about reports that Chinese automaker BYD was planning to introduce a hybrid car to the Chinese market int 2008. It now appears that they might be planning to go all the way, as it were, and build a full battery electric car. China Car Times is reporting that In addition to the F6DM hybrid, there will be an F6E plug-in sedan. BYD is claiming to have developed their own battery, the "first" in the world using iron. No doubt A123 and EnerDel will both be surprised to hear this as both are producing lithium iron phosphate batteries. It looks like the F6E will be relegated to Chinese market for the time being so we'll be able to judge from a safe distance how well BYD has progressed on battery development. In the meantime, BYD is one of five Chinese manufacturers that will be displaying their wares the at Detroit Auto Show next January so maybe we can find out more at that time.

[Source: China Car Times, thanks to Ash for the tip]


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      • 7 Years Ago
      It's funny listening to the naiive folks here who think that either the Japs or anybody else can sucessfully compete with the Chinese. The same kind of idiot talk greeted the Japanese when their first less-than-spectacular cars arrived. If this plug-in can do what they say and at the price they have quoted, Toyota better kiss their ass goodbye - they're dogmeat. They are talking about a totally inferior plug-in of their own not happening before 2011. Looks like the Chinese are whipping the rest
      of the world pretty good at this electric car business.
      • 7 Years Ago
      you are all mistaken. BYD use pure iron battery, not nickel-fe or li-fe battery. The technology is fundamentally different.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thomas Edison made nickel-iron batteries more than a century ago, so that claim is abundantly bogus.

      The design looks a lot like many other cars, but thst isn't too suprising - there is a lot of "style copying" going on in the auto industry, and many basic auto parts, including headlamps, are mass produced by parts suppliers for many different models and even different manufacturers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BYD is simply 'window dressing'(as it's known in Wall St and The City)in preperation for what will be a bloody battle for survival amongst Chinese car companies. I am only 'guestimating' but suspect the technology is ancient and batteries takes up the boot/trunk space and more.

      The west must realise that for the past 5 years or so Chinese manufactureres have simply been trying to grow their businesses by whatever means they could (eg copycat designs/features etc). Now they are looking at creating the buzz to have the global investment community take an interest and either privately (via private equity) or publicly (via Chinese stock markets). It's not about the car, it's about the business model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      >> claiming to have developed their own battery,
      >> the "first" in the world using iron

      Maybe they actually meant "first stolen."
      • 6 Years Ago
      New York Times----China’s Industrial Ambition Soars to High-Tech


      By DAVID BARBOZA
      Published: August 1, 2008




      SHENZHEN, China — Few people have heard of the BYD Corporation — BYD for Build Your Dream — but this little-known company has grown into the world’s second-largest battery producer in less than a decade of existence. Now it plans to make a great leap forward: “We’d like to make a green energy car, a plug-in,” said Paul Lin, a BYD marketing executive. “We think we can do that.”

      Skip to next paragraph Even in go-go China, such lofty aspirations may sound far-fetched. But BYD has built a 16-million-square-foot auto assembly plant here and hired a team of Italian-trained car designers; it plans to build a green hybrid by the end of the year.

      No longer content to be the home of low-skilled, low-cost, low-margin manufacturing for toys, pens, clothes and other goods, Chinese companies are trying to move up the value chain, hoping eventually to challenge the world’s biggest corporations for business, customers, power and recognition.

      The government is backing the drive with a two-pronged approach: using incentives to encourage companies to innovate, but also moving to discourage low-end manufacturers from operating in southern China. That step would reverse one of the crucial engines of this country’s spectacular economic rise.

      But by introducing tougher labor and environmental standards and ending tax breaks for thousands of factories here, the government has sent a powerful signal about its global ambitions, and helped encourage an exodus of factories from an area long considered the world’s shop floor.

      President Hu Jintao hinted at China’s vaulting ambitions during a meeting of China’s scientific elite last June at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he called on scientists to challenge other countries in high technology. “We are ready for a fight,” he said, “to control the scientific high ground and earn a seat on the world’s high technology board. We will make some serious efforts to strengthen our nation’s competence.”

      Government policies now favor high-tech economic zones, research and development centers and companies that promise higher salaries and more skills. A computer chip plant being built by Intel in the northern city of Dalian is welcomed; a textile mill churning out $1 pairs of socks is not.

      “When a country is in its early stages of development, as China was 20 years ago, having an export processing center is good for growth,” said Andy Rothman, a longtime China analyst at CLSA, the investment bank. “But there’s a point when that’s no longer appropriate. Now, China’s saying, ‘We don’t want to be the world’s sweatshop for junk any more.’ ”

      Chinese firms are expanding into (or buying companies that work in) software and biotechnology, automobiles, medical devices and supercomputers. This year, a government-backed corporation even introduced its first commercial passenger jet, a move Beijing hopes will allow it to some day compete with Boeing and Airbus.

      In some ways, the government is only riding the economic currents that come with development and high growth. For instance, many manufacturers in southern China — the country’s biggest export zone — are moving to the interior because land and labor costs are cheaper, or expanding operations to include in lower-cost countries, like India, Vietnam or Bangladesh.

      World-class brands that have grown dependent on outsourcing labor-intensive production to China are now searching for alternatives. Even the retail behemoth Wal-Mart, which moved its global procurement center here to Shenzhen in 2002, is going to be forced to find new sourcing channels to fill its 5,000 stores worldwide.

      For millions of consumers around the world, experts say the policy shift could also mean higher prices for a broad array of goods, from pens and hammers to Barbie dolls and running shoes.

      “Basically the cost of things China produces for Home Depot and Wal-Mart are going up,” said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse. “But there is another side. In some areas that China’s goin
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am living in the city where BYD lives, I don't know how much edge they have, because I am eagerly want to know whether it's good or not buy buy their stock, it's still not very high now.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Please be patient. We will know what it really is in 2008. The market will tell the truth in its own way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Cheap Knock Off"? "No Respect"? Big automakers sitting on their hands and telling everyone it can't be done or that battery technology still needs more development is what I call a complete lack of respect and an insult to our intelligence. I applaud BYD for breaking rank with the other auto makers and I will laugh as they DESTROY the competition. The only way to save the planet seems to be to buy a BYD electric, where do I sign up?
      • 6 Years Ago
      20 months ago I visited the BYD factory that was being built to make this car. An engineer showed me the vehicle and indicated they have developed a battery that will go 240 miles between charges and will out live the car. For those who are not aware, BYD is the largest recharable battery maker in the world and about 5 years ago they bought the car company. No doubt to install their new battery which they have been working on for years. You will also see this new battery in your laptop computer, power tools, etc. From what I could find out, this battery was developed by BYD and those who discredit the capibility of Chinese companies to do something original might have a have a ceribal rectal inversion.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Berkana: A few years ago worked for a manufacturer of boats (who shall remain nameless). We had a 2nd hand unit on hand that had a scratch in the hull. It was bought by a Chinese athletics organization. A couple of years later a new model was being produced by a Chinese boat-builder that was remarkably similar to ours... right down to a faint trace of the scratch.

      I don't like to generalize about particular groups, but the corporate mentality in China really is shameless.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Chinese car companies really need to learn to respect others intellectual property rights. That car screams "cheap knock-off"; the logo is clearly an imitation of BMW's logo, modified so little it is still clearly apparent where the look came from. The grille is clearly copied straight off of Lexus, and the headlamps are cloned right off of BMW. Unless they learn to respect others, they will never get respect themselves.
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