2014 and 2015 are shaping up to be China's time to shine in the plug-in vehicle spotlight. The Tesla Model S is making an appearance. The BYD Denza EV is coming. The China-built version of the Nissan Leaf, the Venucia Morning Wind, will roll off the line. All this is happening just in time, too, since the government has said it wants five million plug-in vehicles on the streets by 2020.
We've heard the comment, "the Tesla Model S is a rich man's toy" before. Usually it comes from a Cranky McCrankster-type of character in the Comments beneath posts about the all-electric automobile. Not everyone sees the utility of an expensive car that can seat up to seven, run with Corvettes and only gets 265 miles on a charge. We get that, sort of, and everyone's entitled to their opinion. It's a bit odd, though, hearing the remark fall from the lips of Wang Chuanfu, however.
Not all of the new vehicles in the world this week were centered at the Detroit Auto Show. Case in point is the BYD Qin Hybrid, which launched in China and will be coming to Europe in about a year (an "early 2015" launch there is planned). This successor to the F3DM has a lot going for it, and should prove a better seller.
Chinese automaker BYD is preparing to launch its second-generation Qin plug-in electric hybrid in Costa Rica next year. No details have been released yet on launch date, pricing, warranty or amenities. Sales will commence in Central and South America through what BYD describes as the region's "largest automobile distributors."
BYD seems bent on using green technologies to inject performance into its line up. The Chinese automaker is already set to offer its Qin Hybrid (pictured) – pronounced Chin, it's a 50-km (31-mile) plug-in version of its Su Rui model, said to be capable of sprinting to 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) in a brisk 5.9 seconds – to the public later this Fall. Now, however, it has revealed several future vehicle programs that vastly improve on the zippiness metric, while keeping fuel consumpt