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BYD's Electric Car: China Goes AC/DC

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BYD electric car

BYD electric car

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And the winner in the category of First Manufacturer to Offer Mass-Market Electric Cars is...BYD? You mean BYD from China? The same China that's often castigated on the world stage for generating power from outdated coal technology? The same China that's criticized for its record on human rights and the environment? That China's going electric? Wow.

If all goes as planned, BYD will trump GM, Toyota, and Nissan in their quests to offer electric cars to the general public by at least a year, and the Chinese government is set to offer sizable subsidies to make sure the cars gain traction with consumers.

That's fine and all--though I can't help wondering about the planning, timetable, and other variables of the project. After all, China also made green news recently by launching the world's largest hydroelectric plant--but only after uprooting over a million people who lived along the Yangtze River. Balancing technological innovation with the safety and welfare of citizens is a tightrope walk, and China's balance hasn't yet been dead-center.

Still, bravo to BYD (even though their achievement likely means more competition for U.S. automakers in China). Given the rapid growth in car ownership in China, putting electric cars in the hands of the populace seems a responsible and savvy thing to do--and the infrastructure enhancements required to make the cars viable won't hurt the country's economy either. Maybe there's a lesson in there for those of us whose economies aren't quite so rosy?--Richard Read

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Comments (6)
  1. But would you buy one? Good luck to them if they can do it but I have my doubts. Looks like a lot of smoke and mirrors.
     
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  2. The same China that's criticized for its record on human rights and the environment?
    This comment is very hypocritical. Fact is the US is the most criticize country in regards to human rights. So is the whole western civilization. 3 words for the US: Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. As for the West, isnt france so much involved in the genocide in Rwanda? Oh yeah how about the brits enslaving Blacks, South Asians Indians and Chinese during the great 17th- early 20th Century? Oh did I forgot to mention the rampant eradication of people in the Carribean, Australia and the Native Americans. The US murdered at least 5 Million people in Vietnam and are doing more so with over 2 Million in Iraq (underestimated number) according to the British Lancet and UN studies.
    So human rights records of Chinese government? Sure they arent so great but they still are small compared to the large scale violation of the West and the US under its mask of righteousness. Heck the biggest genocide in Chinese history isnt committed by the CCP it is done under the British empire, in a war called the Opium War. The British murdered an astonishing 60 Million Chinese in that war, no Chinese emperor not even Emperor Chin or Mongol Emperor Ghenghis Khan has even achieve such a high number.
    As for biggest polluter. The US consumes over 75% of the world's resources and is the world's biggest polluter until now. The US car market is the largest in the world and China is not even an iota close to the US scale. So to not know this shows your racist bias. China is an emerging market, instead of bashing the country on such great news, this news should be recieved with great praise.
    A lot of the west have no idea what China is like and the media spews a lot of lies about the country because the US and the west fears and are jelous of its rising status. This is what is triggering all these ignorant remarks. China is great nation, sooner or later as like how the wheel of history rolls, China will return to its spot as the strongest nation it once held for close to 5000 years.
    As for BYD bravo for the car. I do hope they have much better design in the next version, as this car currently looks like the outgoing Corolla.
     
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  3. @Jayko: Dude, seriously: decaf. Also: lay off the Kool Aid.
     
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  4. The BYD F3DM IS ON SALE and at a viable price!!
    This is incredible compared to the endless years of other EV/PHEV 'delays'. ALL car makers are put on notice. The OPEC strangle hold can be broken and the battery(assuming as reported) should be licensed by Better Place etc, NOW!
     
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  5. BYD you are great. Hu Jintao support this project with full vigour. Build infrastructure to charge the batteries giving higher voltage and higher ampeherage for quick charge. at every nook and corner. this will bring internal revenue to China. Build your electricity by Nuclear power, hydro power and clean coal technology. Like France 95 percent of her energy comes from Nuclear. Do away with oil as it is the biggest environmental disaster and it supports terroism world wide.
     
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  6. "BYD electric car..."

    The fact that some people never heard of BYD electric car wasn’t too surprising for me. Despite the fervor for electric cars, the BYD electric car is made by BYD Auto, an auto-manufacturing firm in China. The F3DM, their electric model, was unveiled in December, but it hasn't been selling and, as of now, the public isn't eligible to line up personal loans to get one, as it's aimed at fleet applications. However, they do plan to vamp up to mass production, but the cost is still a bit prohibitive – coming out to about $22,000 USD. Still, let us hope that some people line up for installment loans for green vehicles like the BYD electric car.
     
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