• Sep 21st 2009 at 2:01PM
  • 19
2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

The BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid went on sale in China last December. In the first eight months that the car has been on sale, only 100 have been sold, according to a new report from Gasgoo. This is well below the company's original stated goal of selling 10,000 in the first year, although they do have another four months to turn things around. Gasgoo says BYD changed its sales estimate to 3,000 to 4,000 units in the first 12 months earlier this year. In June, the F3DM went on sale in Hong Kong.

While the plug-in F3DM hasn't sold as well as expected, BYD is still planning on offering the all-electric e6 in China later this year. Overall, BYD sold 176,795 vehicles in the first half of 2009, an increase of 176 percent compared to the first six months of 2008.


[Source: Gasgoo via Green Car Congress]



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  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's a review published a while back on it.

      http://club.bydauto.com.cn/read.php?tid-234907.html

      It's not even a series hybrid! It's just a parallel hybrid where you can turn off the gas motor. This means, like a Prius PHEV, that it will be very anemic on electricity only. This explains why they list the combined power output (168HP) of the gas and electric motor when in a series hybrid the gas motor never goes to the wheels anyway.

      BYD indicates it's an EV for 62 miles (100km), but really that's only the case if you can deal with only having 38HP (25kW), also that rated distance is at only 31mph (50km/h), the top speed in EV only mode is not listed, but with only 38HP, it'll take some doing (or patience) to get to and sustain highway speeds without dipping into the gas motor.

      So I have to wonder, is a large part of the problem because this vehicle simply doesn't meet customer expectations?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chris M:
        Wikipedia has surmised something similar, that it's a split path. They have a slightly different set of diagrams which show a clutch on that top shaft between the left hand motor and the gear.

        According to the diagrams, the car uses the ICE and two electric motors mechanically coupled to the wheels under acceleration in full-bore mode. In EV mode it only has a single electric motor! So you not only lose the power of the ICE, but one of the electric motors too.

        I really wish they'd show the car in the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With those figures, it is probably some type of "split path" hybrid, like Toyota, Ford and GM makes, that combines elements of series and parallel hybrids. When the gas engine is running, only a portion of the power goes to the generator for electricity, the rest goes through a mechanical link to the wheels. That's why the engine is 50 Kw but the generator is only 25 Kw.

        Split path hybrids get somewhat better efficiency than series hybrids when the IC engine is running, but can also run on electricity only, unlike most parallel "assist" hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's the link to their technically similar F6DM from January '08:
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/01/byd-auto-introd.html
      It clearly spells out how it starts in pure EV, then shifts to series hybrid, then to parallel hybrid mode.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No pics unfortunately and no info on what medium and high speed means in the context of switching modes though.

        But thanks for the info.
      • 5 Years Ago
      has an indipendent source driven one of these?
      • 5 Years Ago
      BYD seems to be on the right track vision wise. The stock price is starting to concern me. A thousand percent increase in one year is great but do the basic economic numbers justify it. It's hard to find their asset value, actual cash on hand and debt. Also they have a huge amount of stock issued. Watching to see what Buffet and company do, as having made 2.25 billion in profits at this point and not realizing it could be a major blunder for their stock holders.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fleet only is probably playing a big part in the slow sales. Also probably price and the technology is too. It doesn't seem like that big a step over a Prius and if I remember correctly even normal hybrids sell very poorly in China.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Until recently, the Chinese government subsidized the price of gas in China. I believe they have stopped now, but they don't have the same level of taxation as many other countries, even the same as the US. So spending more to use less fuel is an even more difficult sell in China than in the US, let alone Europe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is there a reason for this? Price? Quality?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is a marketing tool for BYD batteries and nothing more. The money is with the batteries not the car. I speculate that BYD (and Berkshire indirectly) are more interested in selling batteries than full on autos.

      For only selling 100 cars, BYD shares have shown a nice return over the past 6 months.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, it's China. I'm not surprised to see that stuff in there, not real concerned with it either. And the interior, which does feel like a Corolla knockoff to me, still seems quite functional, in fact I like the instrument cluster.

        The indoor plug is a bit scary.

        But what I'm really upset about is the fact that it's a parallel hybrid. All this time, Americans were supposed to hang their heads in shame because BYD managed to make an EREV and it's taking Americans (GM) years to do so. But this turns out not to be the case at all. This vehicle is just a parallel PHEV and unsurprisingly it's garnering the same lukewarm reception that parallel PHEVs are facing in the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With battery packs costing ~$500/kWh, 20-40% of the cost of a battery electric vehicle with substantial range is the battery pack. So BYD's strategy of making the car surrounding the part is ... interesting. If there's a battery shortage, they can seize marketshare and profit by putting all their product into their own vehicles. Assuming anyone wants to buy those vehicles! The pictures from the article LS2LS7 linked are scarily unprofessional: boxes stacked and strapped together, an indoor plug hidden on the trunk, etc. The F3DM's styling looks like a ripoff of a Toyota but it's so bland I can't tell which one. (The e6 is a complete Honda Odyssey ripoff, and BYD's claim of 400 km range for it is obvious exaggeration.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay, I seemingly understated myself about the plug. The indoor plug is more than a bit scary. 10 hour charging over an exposed IEC plug is scary, the fact that it can't be very current limited since it also has to work for 2 hour charging and 30 minute charging (to 50%) too freaks me right out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was reported in April that they had sold 80. So only 20 sold since then. Phew.

      I would guess that even at $22K it is expensive for the average Chinese citizen. It is probably much more expensive than a similar ICE auto. The wealthy class is numerous enough to buy some BMWs and Buicks, but I think a car this expensive is a stretch for the small middle class in China. Middle class folks tend to be careful with their money. 60 mile range in a big country. New technology and chancey battery life. Makes sense to me. If it looked special they might sell to some wealthier folks like the first Prius' did.

      I think the Volt will have the same problem. Nothing special about the way it looks for twice the price. Someone in the market for that kind of sedan will probably settle for something like a Ford Fusion Hybrid and not feel guilty. No one who moves in the $50,000 car market will be tempted by a Volt. The Honda Civic Hybrid was a similar mistake and the price differential was small by comparison.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hello; When BYD showed F3DM almost two years ago at the Detroit Auto Show, they had full cutaways of their plug-in parallel hybrid system. It has not been a secret.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you have a link I can view?
      Level4
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not exactly great looking car from China.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They don't sell it because they are from the crude oil petrol gasoline selled at prohibitive prices business and they just try to suffocate the biosphere because they work for money including money from tax, constricted consumers, money gifts received without taxation putted in switzerland. They will be sick in their stomachs if someone drive somewhere without giving his money to them and his/her lungs. Since the beginning peoples are saw by them as terrorists, so gm ford, toyota, chrsler, nissan, etc treath them as terrorists by keeping near death and poors and limp. Only organize crimes ( goverment) is allowed. I told you that it cost 500$-1 000$ to build a green car. Why pay more now in the hope of saving as much in 10+ years by consuming less gasoline. Why prohibit natural gas. Why prohibit and not put on the market hydrogen cars ? it's only because they need to have all the money there is on earth, made by consumers and paid directly to stupid polluting compagny like byd, toyota, gm, ford, etc. These compagnies will never never put a green car because they can't admit that each drop of gasoline was in vain, even in 1908, so imagine now. With their ruling and subsidized regulating laws, they are just casching money and destroying the economy.
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