In an interview with Automotive News China, the president of BYD (Build Your Dreams), Wang Chuanfu, said that in addition to the recent Chinese release of the F3DM — the world’s first plug-in hybrid production car — he expects his company to release two more electric car models in 2009.
The F3DM, which does not look like a three wheeled motorcycle or a minivan shrunk quarter size as you may have come to expect, and instead looks like a normal sedan, will be buttressed in 2009 by the release in China of the F6DM sedan, and an entirely electric van, the E6, capable of seating seven.
American government regulations are what will keep all of those cars from hitting the US market right away, according to Chuanfu. Even so, he thinks that BYD will be able to release cars in the US and Europe by 2011. Regardless of the delay in getting the vehicles stateside, the new releases in China mean that the company will have three electric vehicles on the road in 2009, while no other major automaker has managed to produce even one.
But will the company soon suffer from the financial strains that are affecting the rest of the car industry? Not according to Mr. Chuanfu. He says of Warren Buffett’s recent $230 million investment in BYD, “The money is enough for us to spend for awhile.”
Image Credit: BYD
Source: Automotive News China (site requires free registration)