It was supposed the car that changes the game. The BYD F3e was touted as an EV with a range of 300km (186 miles). It was supposed to have a miracle battery with a recharge-time (to 70 percent) of only ten minutes. At the same time, it promised a top speed of 150km/h (93 mph) and a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 13.5seconds. What’s less, the car was supposed to cost no more than $22,400. And the government was willing to grant generous subsidies. How can you go wrong with something like that? You can: That car will not see the light and is being aborted by its Chinese parents. Why?
The F3e will not be put into production “due to the lack of an enabling environment for electric cars in China,” Wang Jianjun, deputy general manager of BYD Automotive Sales Co Ltd., told China Business News (via Gasgoo.)
“After a market investigation and consultation with the dealers, everyone thought there were still problems with the supporting infrastructure and market environment at the moment,” Wang told the paper. Not that it would be BYD’s fault. It’s the inept infrastructure and mediocre market environment that caused a stillborn EV. That darned missing “ancillary environment” keeps BYD from hawking all-electric vehicles “before the supporting infrastructure is well improved in the country.”
But not to worry. Instead of relying on the grid alone, BYD will instead focus on the F3DM, a plug-in hybrid compact sedan, Wang said.
Prospective plug-in makers of the world: Go to Shenzhen and study this case. That deal looked so good that Warren Buffett spent $230m for ten percent of BYD’s stock. Even staunch China haters feted BYD as the second coming of Jesus. Now, all we hear from BYD is a series of bad news. Instead of improving the environment, BYD blames the environment.