Build Your Dreams

A plug-in hybrid – an electric car with an onboard generator (aka “range extender”) – was available to the Chinese public eight months before the Chevy Volt could be purchased in America. In fact, the BYD F3DM had been available for purchase by Chinese government agencies and corporations since its official release in December, 2008 – a full 2 years before the Volt.

The F3DM had an all-electric range of 40 to 60 miles (64 to 97 km) and its on-board generator could extend range up to an additional 300 miles (480 km). Under heavy load, the gasoline engine would combine with the (2) electric motors for more efficiency. Wikipedia claims that BYD stopped manufacturing the F3DM in May, 2013 – hence my use of past tense. However, it still appears on the company’s website, looking very much available. Since I don’t read Chinese, all I can do is look at the pictures and trust that someone else sorts it out. The F3DM was (supposedly) replaced with the plug-in hybrid Qin – pictured below.


BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams” – and the company builds more than just the Qin. If your dreams include an electric bus, they have one that seats up to 40 with a reported range of 155+ miles.


If you dream of an all-electric crossover, they have that, too.

It’s called the e6. More than 800 have been operating as public eTaxis, and are apparently delivering a range of up to 186 miles (300 km) on one charge. I don’t think you can buy one in the U.S. right now unless you want a fleet of them.


If you have nightmares about range anxiety, or simply prefer to produce your very own carbon emissions, BYD even makes gasoline powered vehicles. I didn’t supply a link, because I know you’re not interested in fully fossil-fueled vehicles, right? BYD gas vehicles are not imported to the United States, so you can’t get your hands on one anyway, but here’s a cute picture.


China’s population is approaching 1.4 billion. They have almost as many drivers (300 million+) as there are people in the US (wsj). With more than a billion vehicles in operation around the world already, let’s hope that as more Chinese drivers purchase vehicles, some – if not all – of those vehicles will be electric, helping to restrain the increase of carbon emissions, rather than compounding the problem the rest of the world has already created.

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