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Chinese automaker to unveil 2 new cars

BYD hybrid, electric crossover to debut at Detroit auto show

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

BYD Co. Ltd., one of the most widely watched of China's emerging automakers, plans to unveil two advanced technology vehicles at the Detroit auto show next month: an all-electric 2012 e6 crossover, and a S6DM hybrid.

BYD, a battery-maker that branched out into the auto business, said Thursday it also will display solar panels, home energy storage units and other environmentally friendly products and technologies in its "Green City Solutions" exhibit.

BYD, which counts U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett among its investors, is one of China's most closely observed automakers because of its battery expertise. The company plans to export vehicles to the United States in the near future.

The BYD e6Premier, with an iron-phosphate "FE" battery, has a 186-mile range on city roads and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. It takes 40 minutes to charge the e6 using a 100-kilowatt fast-charger and six hours on a standard outlet.

BYD's S6DM SUV can travel 38 miles on electric power alone and more than 310 miles when engaging a 2-litre gas engine. A 10-kilowatt electric motor is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission propelling the front wheels, while a powerful 75-kilowatt electric motor powers the rear wheels.

BYD also will display the F3DM hybrid, featuring a solar panel sunroof to help charge the iron-phosphate battery, and an all-electric K9 e-Bus with in-wheel electric drive. It can travel 155 miles on a single charge.

BYD's participation at the 2011 North American International Auto Show will mark its fourth consecutive year at the show.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101224/AUTO01/12240347/Chinese-automaker-to-unveil-2-new-cars#ixzz19KKYBK5A

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BYD Bringing Two Battery Cars To Detroit Show

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker determined to enter U.S. market.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.27, 2010

BYD plans to unveil a new version of the e6 battery car, dubbed the e6Premier, at next month's North American International Auto Show.

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker BYD is determined to enter the U.S. market – and it plans to give potential buyers a taste of what’s to come with the two battery-based vehicles it will unveil at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

BYD will stage two world premieres, including the unveiling of a pure battery-electric crossover, the e6Premier, as well as the S6DM plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

This will mark BYD’s fourth appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, the most significant and widely-watched automotive event in North America. Observers are betting that the Chinese maker will use its 25-minute news conference to lay out plans for finally launching its much-delayed U.S. dealer network.

The e6, if it meets expectations, could help overcome the so-called “range anxiety” issue that many experts anticipate will limit sales of pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs. While most can only manage 100 miles per charge, even with the latest lithium-ion batteries, BYD claims the e6Premier can manage 186 miles, in city driving and hit a top speed of 87 mph.

Using a variant of lithium technology, known as iron-phosphate, e6 reportedly can recharge in as little as six hours on a household plug or just 40 minutes using a 440-volt fast charger. The numbers, however, have raised skepticism among some observers.

The S6, meanwhile, promises to deliver up to 38 miles per charge when operating on batteries alone. After that, it is powered by a 2-liter gasoline engine. The plug-in uses an unusual through-the-road-hybrid design, where the front wheels can be powered by both the gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor. The rear wheels are turned by a more powerful 75-kilowatt electric motor.

Short for “Build Your Dreams,” the Shenzhen-based firm started out as a battery manufacturer and is today one of the world’s largest suppliers to the telecommunications and computer industry. BYD has hoped to parlay that expertise by entering the emerging market for electric propulsion.

The company’s pitch was good enough to lure in a major investment by the legendary Warren Buffett. His Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. subsidiary has taken what amounts to a 10% stake in the Chinese manufacturer.

But BYD has faced a number of setbacks in recent months. The maker reported a 99% drop in third-quarter earnings, triggering a sharp downturn in its stock price. Sales have been tumbling, as well, in recent months, and the company has had to revise its forecasts sharply downward.

Complicating its problems, BYD had to surrender seven of its facilities to Chinese authorities earlier this year. The government claimed they were built illegally.

The maker desperately hopes to balance its sales by expanding out of the Chinese market – even though the government has set aggressive targets for boosting demand for battery vehicles. But BYD has repeatedly delayed the start of sales in the U.S., and it is uncertain whether it will make the leap across the Pacific in 2011 or even 2012.

Nonetheless, the maker is counting on the Detroit Auto Show to get the word out that it is coming – eventually. Along with the e6 and S6 models, BYD plans to exhibit the F3DM hybrid and k9 electric bus. It also will show solar panels, battery storage systems and other environmentally-friendly technologies it has dubbed “Green City Solutions.”

link:

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/12/byd-bringing-two-battery-cars-to-detroit-show/

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