Remember back in 2008 when BYD (Build Your Dreams) first displayed its fuel saving hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show and later announced plans to begin selling in the US in 2010? A quick glance at any street in the country will provide ample evidence that the Chinese automaker has failed to smother our roadways with low-cost electric and hybrid vehicles. Ditto its buses.
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.
Wang Chuanfu (above), the founder of Chinese battery manufacturer and automaker BYD is reportedly the richest man in all of China. Already a wealthy man, Bloomberg reports that Chuanfu has jumped a startling 102 places to land himself atop Hurun Rich List, an annual wealth index chronicling the country's richest people.
If reports coming out of China are true, the BYD Dual Mode (range-extended) electric cars might not become the sales threat that some Chevy Volt fans fear. It's being claimed that the BYD F3DM has only sold 80 units since its December launch, due to its high price and fears about battery performance and reliability. Priced at 149,800 yuan ($21,915) and available only to Chinese fleet buyers (typically government agencies and state-owned companies) initially, 20 of the vehicles were purchased by