Feeds

Chinese automaker launches 'leccy lizzie

PRC punts plug-in

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

'Leccy Tech If you've been waiting for the Chevy Volt or Toyota's as-yet unnamed offering before you buy a plug-in hybrid automobile, you'll need to sit tight until their planned 2010 releases. If you must have a plug-in right now, however, you'll need to move to China. That'd be the PRC, not Taiwan.

Chinese carmaker BYD Auto began selling their F3DM plug-in hybrid this week. Retailing for 149,800 yuan (about £14,700 or $21,900 at today's exchange rates), the F3DM is the world's first mass-produced plug-in.

But what exactly is a plug-in hybrid automobile? One straightforward definition comes by way of those ageless automotive gurus Click and Clack, who explain that "gasoline-electric hybrids [such as the Toyota Prius] use electricity to supplement a gasoline engine, whereas...plug-in hybrids...use a gasoline engine to supplement electric power."

Exactly from what type of battery the F3DM uses to supply that electric power, however, remains a wee bit vague. Some reports refer to the F3DM's "lithium-ion" batteries, while Matt Hardigree of Jalopnik - who has actually ridden in a BYD hybrid - says that BYD uses "ferrous (iron) oxide" battery technology.

BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid automobile

Half the price of a Chevy Volt and available today - in China

Although BYD (which, by the way, stands for "Build Your Dreams " - yes, in English) Auto's website isn't completely clear on whether the F3DM's batteries are lithium-ion or ferrous-oxide, the company does build ferrous-oxide batteries and less-than-humbly extols its own "masterpiece" Fe3 technology. We're siding with Hardigree.

BYD Auto claims that the F3DM's range is 100km (about 62 miles) on electrical power alone. If you need to travel further, you can kick in the 1.0 liter gas engine to recharge the batteries. Or you can stop at a "special charge station" and stretch your legs for 10 minutes while the batteries are pumped back up to 50 per cent of their total capacity.

It goes without saying that the current number of "special charge stations" hovers around zero, so you'll want to drive home for a non-gasoline-assisted recharging session. BYU Auto says that a full recharging takes about seven hours. The F3DM charges at 220 volts. There's no word yet from BYU Auto whether a 120-volt version will be available when the company begins shipping the F3DM to the US in 2010. (No UK plans have yet been announced).

Also not yet known is what modifications, if any, that the F3DM will need to pass the relatively stringent US safety regulations - relative to those in China, that is - and whether any additional range-limiting weight gain will occur due to any needed safety upgrades.

If the thought of a Chinese-made car being of high enough quality to sell like hotcakes is a bit of a stretch for your imagination, remember that Warren Buffett - he of the fabulously successful Berkshire Hathaway investment fund - bought a 9.9 per cent stake in BYD a mere three months ago.

And Buffy didn't get rich by being wrong about such things.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.