Dec 16, 2008

Why big three fell... a decade behind

China's first plug-in hybrid, BYD's F3DM, goes on sale today
On Monday, the upstart company best known for making cellphone batteries will begin selling its F3DM -- China's first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle. You can buy the car NOW for around $20,000 in China and make its way to U.S. shores in 2011 with its electric vehicles. While GM plans to introduce its electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, in 2010 with G.M. claiming the costly battery will prevent it from turning a profit on the vehicle for several years....
BYD got into the car market in 2003, and the F3DM is a modified version of its gas-powered F3 model. The DM in the name stands for dual-mode, reflecting its ability to operate in both full-electric and gas-electric hybrid modes. The electric mode has a range of 60 miles on a single charge.
Among those betting on BYD is Warren E. Buffett, who in September bought a 9.9% stake for $230 million. The billioniare investor apparently was impressed with BYD's green technology and Wang's record as a manager.