Back in December, BYD Motors and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) inked a deal to test out the automaker's F3DM plug-in hybrid. HACLA's Luisito Bacierto, a housing inspector, took delivery of one of BYD's dual-mode sedans and hit the streets.

Since mid-December, Bacierto has logged more than 300 miles in the F3DM and, although his daily route varies, the housing inspector reports that nearly all of his trips, some of which have exceeded 50 miles, have been completed without the hybrid's gasoline engine firing up. Bacierto, in an interview with Plugin Cars, describes the F3DM's switch from electric to hybrid mode like this:

If the battery is less than 25 percent, the vehicle automatically goes from electric to hybrid. In that situation, it's a different sound. It doesn't bother me. If you are going 55 miles per hour, you see 65 to 75 miles per hour (after the switch).

(We think he meant miles per gallon, there.) Bacierto claims that the F3DM's acceleration is "smooth" and "not too fast, not too slow" and likens its exterior styling to a 1980s-era Toyota Corolla. Appearance issues aside, Bacierto, who used to drive a HACLA-owned Toyota Prius, seems thrilled by the F3DM's fuel-sipping technology, stating:

With the Prius, I was filling up every two weeks. The BYD car had a full tank in the middle of December. Yesterday, it's a half tank. I haven't put in gas yet.

Great. Now, when do the rest of us get to try it out?

[Source: Plugin Cars]

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