Don't count the Chinese out when it comes to electric vehicle production. Chinese automaker BYD, or "Build Your Dreams," is back in the US for their fourth consecutive year at the Detroit Auto Show. But unlike in past years, the Warren Buffett-backed automaker is no longer a shrinking violet. With plans to launch their new "Three Green Dreams" lineup in North America early next year, all those other EV producers better watch their backs. Their cars will not only be green, but above all, affordable. On display now in Detroit, hundreds of people are already clamoring around the e6 Premier crossover, the S6DM plug-in hybrid SUV and a 40-foot K9 electric bus! Check out our exclusive photos as we report live from Detroit!
BYD, which is 10 percent owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett is a growing enterprise that has already established itself as a leading green automaker in China. Not shy about their aspirations, founder Wang Chuan-Fu relays, “Our dream is a zero-carbon, zero-emission ecosystem ‘template’ that we can create to run our cars and our homes, our business and all our transportation.” He continues, “This can be accomplished with long-range fast-charging affordable electric and dual-mode vehicles and all-electric buses and taxis from BYD.”
As it stands, their e6 Premeir EV promises a range of around 200 miles, twice as much as the Nissan Leaf, and a top speed of 87 mph. But keeping in mind that the model on show in Detroit is still a work in progress, BYD says the e6 will be significantly redesigned. The new iteration will feature a more attractive interior and a motor able to capture a wider range. In addition to the e6, BYD is showing a new dual-mode electric S6DM sport utility vehicle and promoting their K9 bus, which promises a more than 155-mile range on a single charge.
Last year, the automaker announced plans to build a U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, and they have already begun to test out their first fleet of EVs in the golden state. Reports suggest the vehicle will be sold at $35,000, and that their F3DM plug-in hybrid, already on sale in China, will also make its way into the US in 2012.