Chinese automaker BYD Auto has announced it is planning to enter the US market in 2011 and will be then launching a product line of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.
The first two models BYD plans on introducing are the F3DM, the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid sedan and the e6, a battery-powered mid-sized crossover with a single-charge range of 250 miles (400 km).
Speaking ambitiously on the floor of the Detroit auto show, Wang Chuanfu, President and Chariman of BYD Auto, said that the company would also be setting up manufacturing in the US "when it is appropriate".
BYD claims its Fe battery technology has a quick-charge capacity to 50 percent power in only 10 minutes. The battery also has a life cycle of more than 10 years.
The Fe battery will also be used in BYD's mid-size F6DM sedan, a plug-in hybrid. Plug-in hybrids can run on pure electrical power until the battery runs out when a gasoline engine kicks in and acts as a generator to create more power for the battery.
Lending confidence to BYD's prospects in the US market is legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Last year the energy division of his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, acquired a 10 percent stake in BYD Auto.
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