Manufacturing News

BYD's plug-in hybrid SUV will make global debut in Detroit

BYD Auto Co. plans a world debut at the Detroit auto show next month for its S6DM plug-in hybrid SUV.

The vehicle is built on the platform of BYD's S6 SUV, a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle that debuted this week at the Guangzhou auto show.

Company spokeswoman Jasmine Huang confirmed that the S6DM will make its world debut in Detroit, but offered no details about its hybrid powertrain.

According to BYD's Web site, the S6is 4,810 mm long, 1,855 mm wide and 1,680 tall, with a wheelbase of 2,720 mm. The S6 is powered by a 2.4-liter or 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

For the first time, BYD also will display the drivetrain of its K9 electric bus in Detroit, Huang said. According to the company's Web site, the K9 bus is 12 meters long, with a range of 250 kilometers on one charge.

In addition to those two debuts, BYD's F3DM plug-in hybrid and its e6 electric car will return to Detroit. Those two models debuted at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

BYD has sold limited numbers of the F3DM and the e6. At present, a local taxi company in the south China city of Shenzhen is using 55 e6 cars as taxi cabs. Detailed sales of the F3DM hybrid are not available, but Huang estimated the figure to be "a few hundred."

BYD sold 468,500 gasoline-powered cars in China in the first 11 months, up 22 percent from the year-ago period.

In 2008, American billionaire Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. spent $230 million (1.5 billion yuan) to buy a 10 percent stake in BYD.

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