BYD and the electric vehicle showdown

BYD, the Chinese electric vehicle maker that is backed by Warren Buffett, made headlines earlier in the week by saying it wanted to go big in the US market, with plans to release its plug-in E-6 model there later this year.

Autoblog Green lists a few more details of the E-6 revealed at the show, and points out it will need to pass safety tests and change its power connector before getting the go-ahead in the US. A company executive said BYD would consider manufacturing the cars locally, should they sell well there.

As is often the case on autoblog it’s quite interesting to look at the reader comments (flouride discussions notwithstanding). There is a comparison of the E-6′s specifications to other EVs; the E-6 battery apparently has a much lower energy density than the Tesla, although the two could hardly be targeting more different ends of the EV market. And one commenter points out that there are advantages of the E-6 using lithium iron technology rather than the lithium cobalt chemistry used by the Tesla.

Still, the price will be the thing – and how it shapes up against other nascent mass-market contenders such as Nissan’s Leaf and GM’s Volt.

Related links:

Green hotrods (FT Energy Source, 30/09/09)
Replaceable batteries: pipe-dream, or the future for electric cars? (FT Energy Source, 18/05/09)

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