Though the cost seems low, and the claims fantastical, Chinese automaker BYD's plug-in hybrid F3DM has so far only sold 80 units. The gasoline-only counterpart has sold roughly 20,000 vehicles. So what's the problem? Several reasons have been claimed...let's go through them, shall we?
- A $20,000 price point might seem cheap to you and me, but it's actually quite expensive in China.
- There is very little charging infrastructure in China, and not quite so many three car garages, as one might expect.
- Fears about battery performance abound. Though BYD claims some truly impressive range and lifetime numbers for the F3DM, real-world implementation has started some nasty rumors.
To counter these points, BYD is hoping to drop the price to an astounding $16,000, once they start producing them in mass, and they will be seeking independent verification of their battery technology claims.
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