If reports coming out of China are true, the BYD Dual Mode (range-extended) electric cars might not become the sales threat that some Chevy Volt fans fear. It's being claimed that the BYD F3DM has only sold 80 units since its December launch, due to its high price and fears about battery performance and reliability. Priced at 149,800 yuan ($21,915) and available only to Chinese fleet buyers (typically government agencies and state-owned companies) initially, 20 of the vehicles were purchased by the Shenzhen government. The same entity was to acquire more to add to the cities taxi fleet but it is rumored that talks surrounding that deal have stalled. This contrasts sharply with the gasoline-only F3, which is available to ordinary Chinese citizens who snapped up 20,940 copies in March alone.
BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu expects they will lower the price of the F3DM to around 109,800 yuan ($16,062) once they start building them in larger numbers, which should convince some buyers. Another hurdle to overcome, he believes, is the lack of charging stations, of which only a handful currently exist. While that is a problem that should be solved as planned stations are constructed, countering fears of battery performance and other issues may take a concerted marketing effort as well as independent verification of the company's tech claims.
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[Source: CRI / Gasgoo]