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BYD F3DM - Click above for an image gallery

Wang Chuan-Fu, CEO at Chinese automaker BYD, has made headlines all around the internet over the last few days for doing something that seems absolutely insane: drinking battery fluid. Most people are familiar with all kinds of batteries, from the disposable alkaline cells that frequently power toys and remote controls to the nickel-based rechargeable cells that we put in lots of things like digital cameras and radio control cars. In the automotive realm, we most often think of the big, heavy lead-acid batteries under the hood of nearly every car or truck in the world.

For the most part, one thing that's always remained constant when it comes to batteries is that they are highly toxic. We may soon need to retrain ourselves on that point. Zero Motorcycles uses high-tech lithium ion batteries that are fully non-toxic, and company founder Neal Saiki has said that they are even safe to eat. Wang Chuan-Fu went a step further and demonstrated that its electrolyte was safe to drink. We're not suggesting anyone make a habit out of ingesting their vehicle's batteries, but battery safety is an important point and the ramifications of creating tons and tons of batteries for automotive use isn't yet fully understood.

At this point, it definitely seems as if electric vehicles are a much better option than petroleum-powered vehicles, though, and battery technology is still very much in its infancy. The search for new materials and processes is sure to continue, and environmental concerns will stay at the forefront in their development, and that's definitely a good thing.


[Source: CNN]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Read the original article (I think it was on NYT)

      This guy is someone who believes in the stuff he is making. Good things are bound to come from a company that has people like that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Would the CEO of GM drink the Volt's battery fluid? Maybe Bob Lutz tried, hence the retirement.
      • 6 Years Ago
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      • 6 Years Ago
      So .. what was the "battery fluid"? We know that old-style Lead-Acid batteries used sulfuric acid - I'm sure that whatever this "battery fluid" is, there is an accurate descriptive name for it.

      Good reporters would find out what that was, & use it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NEWS FLASH!

      "Wang Chuan-Fu died shortly after ingesting battery fluid during a press conference at his office. Unofficial reports point to lead poisoning and a stomach ulcer". [AP 4.14.09]

        • 6 Years Ago
        It was said from day one that the sales of the vehicle would be limited to the government and fleets. People have been in the car, it was shown live in autoshows.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, your news is bogus. He did not die, because his drink wasn't battery fluid at all. It probably was lime juice or something sour to produce a genuine grimace. That is the only thing real in this Buffett & Wang photoshop wonder car factory.

        The F3 DM went on sale according their press releases for four months ago and they did not utter a word that there will be any limitations or special rules on who could or could not purchase it. Now we can read that the sales were limited to government offices or enterprises from day one. And that the sales were disappointing even at that with only 80 cars 'sold". My guess is that they haven't even delivered most of those cars yet.

        I have seen 5 million images of this automobile but nobody has test driven it. Test drive or it didn't happen!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Cute, but LiIon batteries don't contain any lead or any acid, and that's the type of battery his company makes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      FWIW, previous to the introduction of lead in gasoline, Standard Oil and GM had a spokesman who frequently drank the lead additive in front of crowds to prove that it was safe.

      He spent several months in a facility, recovering from the effects of lead poisoning, but that wasn't revealed to the public.

      Not suggesting that there's any connection here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That was a good one!

        Snake oil and melamin milk are time honored Chinese traditions so the connection is surely obvious to everybody;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sektor said:
      2:58AM (4/16/2009)

      "It was said from day one that the sales of the vehicle would be limited to the govern
      ment and fleets. People have been in the car, it was shown live in autoshows."



      No, it was not. They said however that they would concentrate to governments and fleets and there is a world of difference. Nowhere was it mentioned that private companies or citizens can not buy the car. The car has been ready as a vaporware exhibition model for ages. One would have assumed that the fleet testing happens some time after the car is first introduced in the exhibition circuit and long before the regular production of the model starts. They started production in November last year according to press release. The BYD has not let a single person test drive the car and it is five months since the "production" started. No wonder that zero cars are registered according the Chinese sales statistics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't try this at home,Kids!
      There is more than one way to get Your electrolytes and its probably way tastier than that Gatoraid garbage without the Mega load of sugar.
      Considering the Chinese Governments track record on Human rights and the Health Ministers plight after the Melamine fiasco,I wouldn't be surprised if He was not forced to do this.
      Anyway it is definitely healthier than swilling the Reich-wing Corporate Flavor-Aid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      LiIon batteries all use a non-aqueous electrolyte, usually some form of hydrocarbon, with lithium salts dissolved in it to make the "lithium ions". There is no water, no acid, and no caustic alkaline in any form of LiIon battery. .

      Apparently, the LiIon batteries that BYD produces uses a non-toxic hydrocarbon, perhaps some sort of vegetable oil. Still, if consumed in large quantities, it could result in lithium poisoning.

      After a cocktail like that, you can be sure he wouldn't suffer from depression!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems this man was willing to put his mouth where his money is :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't this the guy who also drive the F3DM through the Detroit Auto Show halls?

      http://jalopnik.com/344806/detroit-auto-show-world-exclusive-surreal-illegal-test-drive-of-chinese-hybrid-through-cobo-arena

      Yeah, he's kinda out there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hehe that's awesome! Chairman Wang for... chairman!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pass out the Lithium Cocktails! Everybody Wang Chuan tonight!
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