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BYD Bringing Two Battery Cars To Detroit Show

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker determined to enter U.S. market.

by on Dec.27, 2010

BYD plans to unveil a new version of the e6 battery car, dubbed the e6Premier, at next month's North American International Auto Show.

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker BYD is determined to enter the U.S. market – and it plans to give potential buyers a taste of what’s to come with the two battery-based vehicles it will unveil at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

BYD will stage two world premieres, including the unveiling of a pure battery-electric crossover, the e6Premier, as well as the S6DM plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

This will mark BYD’s fourth appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, the most significant and widely-watched automotive event in North America.  Observers are betting that the Chinese maker will use its 25-minute news conference to lay out plans for finally launching its much-delayed U.S. dealer network.

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The e6, if it meets expectations, could help overcome the so-called “range anxiety” issue that many experts anticipate will limit sales of pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  While most can only manage 100 miles per charge, even with the latest lithium-ion batteries, BYD claims the e6Premier can manage 186 miles, in city driving and hit a top speed of 87 mph.

Using a variant of lithium technology, known as iron-phosphate, e6 reportedly can recharge in as little as six hours on a household plug or just 40 minutes using a 440-volt fast charger.  The numbers, however, have raised skepticism among some observers.

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