09/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Will China Design The First Plug-In Hybrid?

BYD is China's largest battery maker. Chances are, if you have a cellphone or a mp3 player, you have one of their products. The company is getting into the auto world, a move that only a few years ago would have seemed illogical, but now that the future will probably go to plug-in hybrids and electric cars, being good with batteries has become a key expertise to have when making cars (we're sure GM would agree - it is mostly batteries that are holding back the Volt).

BYD's first plug-in hybrid for the Chinese market will be the F6DM mid-sized sedan in the second half of 2008. Top speed should be 100 mph (160 kph), with a range of 62 miles (100 km) in all-electric mode and 267 miles (430 km) total after the gas engine kicks in. A fully electric version called the F6E is planned for 2009.


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