By on April 8, 2008

byd-f6-i004.jpgSay what you want about Chrysler's new marketing slogan, at least their name isn't Build Your Dreams. Automotive News (sub) reports that the Chinese manufacturer showed their potentially game-changing plug-in, parallel/serial "dual-mode" drivetrain at Geneva, where the reaction was so strong that several European distributors are now negotiating for rights to the brand. Besides operating in parallel and serial hybrid modes as the circumstances require, the drivetrain's recorded 110km range on a plug-in charge is nearly five times the rumored range of the yet-to-be-released Prius plug-in. Plus, BYD has a 248-mile range, all-electric version of its F6DM sedan currently plying the streets of Beijing in taxi form. Of course, as with the development of any new, high-tech drivetrain, the cost is excessive– try a nearly $8k premium over sticker price. BYD says that European distribution depends on finding creative ways to cut costs, and since parent BYD Group has battery manufacturing plants in Romania and Hungary, Euro-market BYDs could be made somewhere in Eastern Europe. European distribution is targeted for 2010, unless of course it is all just a dream.

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9 Comments on “BYD Targets Europe For Hybrid Sales...”

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Unfortunately the car is a knock off of the Corolla. Toyota will have no problem getting the EU to ban importation of the non-hybrid part of this vehicle.

    They’ll have to put it in something else, I guess.

  • avatar

    No the knock off of the last-generation Corolla is the BYD F3. The BYD F6 (pictured above) is knock off of the last-generation Honda Accord with a different front clip and tail lights. Or, perhaps (being way generous) it merely resembles the Accord. (But I have to wonder if the doors from an Accord will bolt right on…).

    Interestingly enough, BYD had been showing prototypes of an F6 which looked original – then when production started, they looked like an Accord.

    Perhaps they are spending all their money on battery technology….

    Their Nickel Metal Iron (NOT Nickel Metal ION) battery technology is apparently new, low cost, reliable and auto-friendly.

    But much like the Chevrolet Volt, “we’ll see…”

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Justin: There’s nothing about this car that’s so identical to either Corolla or Accord to have it be kept from the market.

    Their technology is impressive, if it works as claimed. Biggest question is battery life, since they use cheap commodity-type cells.

  • avatar

    How do they manage a 248 mile range with cheap batteries?

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    D’OH! You’re right. It is a knock off of the 7th generation Accord.

    I’ve got more than a little familiarity with European IP law. There is definitely enough to keep this off the market in Europe. This is blatant design infringement. The IP laws there are more protective than in the US for manufactured goods, and they would have no problem making a claim. Dilution would be harder in EU countries where Honda didn’t sell the Accord as this car was copied from. But I still think Honda could kill this thing before importation without even resorting to the courts.

  • avatar

    Forget all the hybrid and copyright malarky! Does anyone remember how Chinese cars fared in a crash test?!

    Here’s a reminder:

  • avatar

    Hi, Katie. The ironic thing is that the Chery Amulet is nothing more or less than a 10 or 12 year old SEAT Malaga design (actually built on license, not stolen – just for a change).

    You want to see a REAL wreck, try a 1970’s era Holden Commodore. Ouch.

    At least the trunk survived….

  • avatar

    Donal: I also question that number… I can’t find any confirmation of that, and everything out there says they’re not even planning on producing the F6E (pure EV) until the second half of 2008.

    The closest I can find is the F3E (the Corolla version), which supposedly gets 350km per charge, or about 215 miles. But I’m not sure if that’s been independently verified either.

    BYD manufactures these same iron batteries for use in the OLPC laptop, so they have production experience with the technology in a proven, low-cost product, so their claims have some legs IMO.

  • avatar

    Should be fine in Europe. Their Accord is, was, whatever, the Acura TSX, whereas this BYD thing looks like the North American last gen Accord.

    Doesn’t seem to matter, anyway. Check this:

    ” FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Two models built by Chinese carmakers have been approved to go on sale in Europe, paving the way to launch them next month, industry paper Automotive News Europe reported on Saturday.

    It quoted Tatyana Podkatelow, a spokeswoman for German importer China Automobile Deutschland, as saying the Zhejiang Jonway UFO and Shuanghuan Automobile CEO models had both received European Union approval.

    The models are controversial because their appearance is similar to rivals. The UFO looks like the Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle SUV and the CEO resembles the BMW X5 SUV, the paper said.

    BMW, which started legal proceedings to stop the CEO’s launch last year, still hopes the courts will halt European sales, it quoted BMW spokesman Andreas Lampka as saying.

    It cited a Toyota spokesman as saying that the Japanese carmaker would not take legal action to block the UFO’s sale.”

    Now that we have CEOs and UFOs on sale, maybe they’ll make copies of Rick Wagoner and Bob Lutz respectively and sell them as well. Plug-in serial and parallel models, naturally. Watch them hop silently down the road with a 350 yard range.

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