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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.


With or Without IPO, Tesla Ready to Launch New Products

Maker see sharp reduction in battery costs helping sell EV technology.

by on Jan.12, 2010

Tesla doesn't need to go public to fund the next two models it plans to introduce, said founder Elon Musk, standing in front of a prototype Model S battery car.

The electric car revolution is firmly underway, said Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, as he rolled out a prototype of the Silicon Valley start-up’s second battery car, the Model S, at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.

Once derided as something of a crackpot, Musk has become more of a roll model to an auto industry that has rapidly come to embrace the concept of electrification.  But the challenge for Musk and the Tesla team is to move from niche to mainstream.  Near the Model S prototype, the automaker also displayed the 1000th Roadster to roll off its assembly line.  While Musk described it as a “milestone,” he admitted a typical auto assembly plant will produce that many vehicles in a day.

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Going forward, Tesla expects to produce between 700 and 1,000 of the 2-seaters annually.  But the goal is to boost production of the 7-seat Model S sedan to 20,000, said Musk, when it reaches market sometime in 2012.

“And we want to do perhaps 200,000 units of production with our more affordable car,” a reference to a still secret vehicle program that Musk hopes to bring to market around 2014.  While the Roadster currently costs more than $100,000, Tesla plans to lease the Model S for roughly the same monthly payment as a conventional, $35,000 gasoline-powered vehicle.