By on December 6, 2010

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.

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18 Comments on “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: BYD’s EV Won’t See The Light...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    So are they saying the US has an “enabling environment” for electric cars? If not, why would Nissan be about to roll out the Leaf, which has less range, longer recharge times, and costs slightly more?

    “Supporting infrastructure”? What, they don’t have 120V outlets in China? I imagine there’s nothing wrong with the infrastructure, but rather something wrong with the E6e itself. If it ever was a functional vehicle, BYD probably realizes it won’t come close to delivering the promised numbers for the promised price.

    If their car could actually achieve what they said it could, there shouldn’t be any problem. The as-promised E6e would set a new benchmark for the formula of range, ease of charging, and performance. They may have a point about Chinese not caring about green cars, though. They don’t seem to like Priuses, but really like S-Classes and other long-wheelbase German sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      There are already a 100 million electric vehicles plying the roads in China – which are two wheelers.
       
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/business/global/01ebike.html
       
      So, I’ll assume that Chinese will figure out how to recharge a 4 wheeled EV when the time comes.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      What, they don’t have 120V outlets in China?
      Like the rest of the World, they likely even have 230 V as their regular voltage. North America is pretty much alone with 110 V afaik.
       
      So they should even have less of an excuse.

    • 0 avatar

      They indeed had 220 Volt (nominal) standard service in China. And ingenious power strips that accept any plug known to man.
      Japan oddly has 110 V.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      interesting that Japan has 110 V. My theory was that countries that didn’t have much electricity grid right after WWII or were destroyed in WWII got the new 220V. and since the US/Canada didn’t have too many destroyed cities, there wasn’t a big push to make it all new.
       
      Maybe I should find a new theory in why the US still has 110 V (and likely will have forever since switching now would be expensive)

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    *boggles at the badge*
     
    …Do they just not have graphic designers in China? I mean, with all the manufacturing and engineering expertise they have… it seems like pretty much everything design-wise is an absurdly transparent ripoff. Is there some cultural thing that the companies don’t see anything wrong with it, or are they really that clueless…? TTAC: Give us an article about this!

    • 0 avatar

      There’s rarely anything anyone can do about it, so why not? (BYD does have a different logo now.)

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      If they want to sell stuff anywhere other than China, they’re going to have to do something about it. It’s all well and good to sell part-for-part duplicates of other cars when your government doesn’t care, but sending ‘em to Europe isn’t going to go over so well… And that’s even assuming that they don’t fold up like origami if they hit anything bigger than a dachshund…

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Do they at least have a technology demonstrator or prototype?
    If not, sounds likely this is what is called vaporware in the software business.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    BYD is probably waiting to obtain a Nissan Leaf.  Hopefully, Nissan has had every screw, wire and electron properly patented in China before the first Leaf arrives.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    I have a funny feeling that the REAL issue is that prototype vehicle’s actual performance and range etc were coming not even remotely close to the wildly optimistic claims.

  • avatar
    TR4

    It would take more than a “miracle battery” to enable 10 minute charges.  Lets say the battery is 16kW-hr like the Volt’s.  70% of that is 11.2kW-hr.  To charge this in 10 minutes takes 67.2kW.  Even at 480 volts, this is 140 amps!  Most circuits of this power level are hard wired; I wonder if there even is a plug/socket capable of this kind of power.  Presumably this is part of the “supporting infrastructure”.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    i was once told 110v is more forgiving if u get shocked, as 220 v doubles that.
    japan actually has 100v, is a setting I saw on a Jap local sold stereo, prolong running 110 will screw her up too.
     
    adding an ICEngine  benzene or dsl is not all bad, since it will use less fuel.
     

  • avatar
    blowfish

    or warren has made enuf dough already so time to bring in the lanterns.
     
    so as ballard power in Van , was tooting so hard about the Hydrogen powered buses etc 5 yrs ago.
    and where is it now?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballard_Power_Systems
     
    to make a hybrid, will they be as competitive as Prius?
     

  • avatar
    blowfish

    would somebody call Elon about this, I am sure he had been praying for this design for a long time, he could easily pony up the mulla and move the fact to La La land, as Arnuld is also looking for some sustaining industries there.

    he 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.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    We make the charger connector and cable assembly for the China market.  We also make the vehicle connector.     Demand is steadily rising, but it is very low.
    However I do not see any push from the government yet, only the vehicle manufacturers and public transportation systems.
    That surprises me with the way infrastructure is normally rapidly developed in China.

    I think the China government is waiting until China auto manufacturers have viable products ready and do not want to support the early Leafs & Volts of the world.
    Later you will see the biggest and fastest roll out ever seen in the electric car world.     

  • avatar
    DeadInSideInc

    “…and is being aborted by its Chinese parents. Why?”
    The One China policy. Causes lots of abortions and Bertel has violated it.
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/05/autobiography-of-bs-how-i-violated-the-one-china-principle/

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    here’s the issue:
     
    they relied solely on the success of the so-called “iron phosphate” battery
    if the battery didn’t perform the car is dead
    i haven’t seen any scientific data on this iron phosphate battery so one must assume that they couldn’t get it to work


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