Chinese Plug-in Hybrids are here… well… over there

Chinese battery company and auto manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD) announced at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit that it is already selling its F3DM compact plug-in hybrid and F6DM family-sedan plug-in hybrid in China and has plans to do so in the near future in the United States.

The manufacturer recently made news when it announced that Warren Buffet and MidAmerican Energy Holdings had invested $230 million for a 10 percent stake in the company. The money which will be used to continue the company’s expansion and the development of its e6 electric vehicle.

Both the F3DM and F6DM can travel 62 miles using a zero-emission electric engine. After that point a 1.0-liter gasoline engine will kick in to power the electric engine and charge the batteries. BYD claims the vehicles can be recharged in a standard outlet in seven hours but can also receive a half charge in just 10 minutes. Total range of the vehicles is 267 miles.

Performance is hardly astounding but these are hybrids after all. With the same engine both models have an output of 168hp and 265 ft-lbs of torque. The F3DM can hit 62 mph in 10.5 seconds and the larger F6DM can hit the same speed in 13.5 seconds.

The “DM” in F3DM and F6DM stands for dual mode, as BYD’s hybrids are able to run as both zero-emissions electric vehicles and as conventional hybrids.