According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffet-backed Chinese automaker BYD has moved up its schedule and plans to sell a fully electric car here in the United States next year. Interestingly, the automaker's original plans were to sell its first products here in the U.S. in 2010, but it then delayed that projection by a year. The new announcement puts BYD back on track for its original 2010 target -- perhaps not coincidentally in line with the launch of the new Nissan Leaf.
BYD's e6 five-seatcrossover is the first vehicle exected to hit the U.S. market, with a price of just over $40,000. Details on the car's launch are still slim at this point, but WSJ indicates it will be a limited to a few hundred vehicles in select markets. Expect the initial vehicles to go to "government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities," according to BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu.
Last we heard, the all-electric e6 was capable of accelerating to 100 km/h (62 mph) in ten seconds with a maximum speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). Perhaps more importantly, the car's range has been quoted at 300km (186 miles) on a full charge of its lithium ion battery pack.