According to the Chinese automobile manufacturer, the F3DM will be available for private purchase in Shenzhen on March 29th, 2010.
The F3DM is a range extended electric vehicle, meaning it has a completely electric drivetrain and a gasoline engine is only incorporated as a generator to charge the battery. BYD claims their Dual Mode is different from a range extended electric vehicle because it actually has three modes of operation: 1) Full battery-powered electric mode 2) Series-hybrid mode, in which an engine drives a generator to recharge the batteries, acting as a range-extender like in the Chevy Volt. 3) Parallel hybrid mode, in which the engine and motor both provide propulsive power, like in the Toyota Prius.
The BYD F3DM is priced at $22,000 and will hopefully be available in the US by 2011. However, this is twice the price of an equivalent car in China using traditional fuel.
A BYD spokesman said that the new version of the F3DM, available for private buyers will implement more advanced battery and electronics to further enhance efficiency. The first selling location will be Shenzhen, which plans to have 24,000 cars on the road, possibly with the help of government subsidy programs.
BYD Auto, offspring of Chinese cell phone lithium-ion battery giant, will soon be releasing two electric car drivetrains. One will be the fully electric F3e technology, which will allow for a top speed of over 150km/h, a 13.5s 0-100 km/h acceleration, 300km / per charge range, and and a battery life-cycle of about 600,000km. This stems from their superior Fe battery technology. The Fe-battery has such innovative advantages as low cost, zero pollution, zero noise and recyclable. It can deliver voltage twice as high as a standard Ni-MH battery, while costing less than comparable batteries.
BYD is also making a huge investment into range extended vehicles, notably the BYD DM (Dual Mode). The BYD site seems to try to distinguish this as something more than an electric vehicle with a gasoline range extender, but they are not very clear. This is how BYD describes their technology:
As early as in 2003, BYD started DM electric vehicles project, on which currently 500 auto engineers are working. DM stands for Dual Mode and BYD DM (Dual Mode) electric vehicle combines a solely electric vehicle system and a hybrid power system. The DM hybrid system is an advanced technology which integrates two hybrid powers to control electricity generator and electric motor, thus not only massively reducing fuel consumption and emission but also enhancing the power and operation performance. In addition, it enables dual energy supplies via both recharging and refueling, which makes up the dual mode hybrid system in the real sense. If we call an electric driven system “EV” and the hybrid electric system “HEV”, then BYD DM should be named “EV + HEV”. This system is bound to replace the traditional electric-gasoline hybrid system, becoming the most popular and advanced new energy hybrid system in the world.
Source: BYD Auto