China’s largest battery maker BYD has put the major automakers in a tight spot with the launch of its very own plug in hybrid. BYD’s serial hybrid, F3DM will be available in China for a price of $21,900, and is scheduled to reach the USA in 2010. Not only is the F3DM the first to arrive on the scene, it seems to have one-upped the hotly anticipated Chevy Volt as well.
A full charge can take this hybrid to 100 km, moving solely on electric power; top speed is achieved at 160kmph. The 330V 40 Ah batteries take 8 to 9 hours for recharging. Volt appears to be squarely beaten, its range of 64 km seems too small in comparison.
Once out of electric charge, the vehicle moves on 1.0-l 3-cylinder aluminum engine that can generate 50kW. The combined maximum power output is rated at 125kW. If the F3DM is indeed what it promises to be, then maybe the Volt isn’t so hot after all, especially with about $700 million going into development. The F3DM will be present at Detroit next month for a North American debut.