BYD Automobile Company, a fairly new Chinese car manufacturer owned by one of the world’s largest makers of cell phone batteries, plans to begin producing and selling plug-in hybrid electric cars in 2008 that can recharge in 10 minutes with iron-based batteries.
“The iron battery proves to have better safety performance and larger capacity,” Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, told a press conference at Shenzhen, adding “The battery can be fully charged within ten minutes at a charging station or roughly 9 hours at home.”
The iron-based batteries are becoming more favorable than lithium-ion batteries because of their low cost and safety.
BYD will make its first United States appearance in January at the Detroit show, to display the F6DM plug-in hybrid sedan. The vehicle is reported to drive about 60 miles on electric mode and up to 270 miles by using the gasoline engine as a generator to charge the battery pack. Top speed is 100 mph and the batteries can be recharged to 70 percent of capacity within just 10 minutes.
China will be first to receive the F6DM. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to release the plug-in hybrids in North America. The car will be priced at about 150,000 yuan ($19,966).