Chinese Electric Car Jolts The Competition
One of the carmakers showing off its electric power at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is from China. The Shenzhen-based company BYD — which stands for Build Your Dreams — has built the world's first mass-produced, plug-in hybrid car, beating both Chevrolet and Toyota to the punch.
The midsize sedan is called the F3DM. The car has a gasoline engine that kicks in when a driver accelerates to more than 37 mph; up to that point, it runs completely on electricity.
The F3DM produces 160 to 180 horsepower and can travel up to 60 miles just on its lithium ion battery, after which it relies on the small gas engine. BYD claims that charging the F3's battery costs 75 percent less than filling up a gasoline-powered car.
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