First Impressions of BYD F3DM Electric Hybrid

Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACLA) inspector Luisito Bacierto shares his experiences with China-made plug-in hybrid.

Published: 26-Jan-2011

As the world’s first commercially-available (ish) plug-in hybrid, the BYD F3DM is one of the few modern cars that can legitimately claim a piece of automotive history. In full knowledge of this fact, a younger, more innocent version of myself once sent a number of emails to every possible BYD PR contact I could find, in hopes of securing an early review of the car that ushered in the plug-in automotive age. Needless to say, I never heard back from BYD… but I expected that. What I didn’t expect is that, years later, I still wouldn’t be able to find a real in-depth review of this mysterious yet potentially groundbreaking vehicle. Apparently BYD is either extremely cautious about letting writers experience its vehicles outside of convention hall laps and round-the-block drives… or the automotive media has a very poor sense of history. Or, as is most likely the case, both.

Either way, this strange state of affairs just got stranger: thanks to, we now have the first report of the F3DM’s performance on American roads… from an LA Public Housing Authority inspector. Yes, really.

On December 14, the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACLA) received 10 F3DMs as part of a pilot program test fleet. Inspector Luisito Bacierto, speaking with, delivers his initial verdict on the F3DM’s stateside performance.


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