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PHOTO CAPTION: BYD F3DM at 2009 North American International Auto Show. Photo credit: EV World.Com

China Drives Towards Electric Cars Despite Economic Turn-down

Over the last 10 years, China has spent nearly 2 billion yuan ($294 million U.S. dollars) developing cars using alternative energies.

Published: 23-Jan-2009

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The launch of the world's first commercialized plug-in hybrid electric car at the Detroit auto show again put in the limelight China's unremitting efforts to develop a sustainable and environmentally-friendly economy.

Chinese car-manufacturer BYD Auto's launching of a range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which lured more than 1,000 journalists and industry insiders at the main floor of the ongoingDetroit show, may have changed a bit the world's perception that Chinese products, including their cars, are low-end.

One of BYD's e-cars, the "e6", can travel up to 250 miles (over402 km) purely on battery, more than double the range its Western rivals can on a single charge. The BYD's innovative battery used in its dual mode cars can fully charge in nine hours from a regular electrical outlet, or much faster at charging stations.

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BYD E6 is all electric crossover that will is likely to be first sold to US fleet operators.

BYD will begin by selling the e6 directly to US fleet customers before developing a dealership network.

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