BYD e6 electric MPV - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Warren Buffet-backed Chinese automaker BYD has moved up its plans to sell a fully electric car right here in the United States next year. Interestingly, the automaker had originally planned to sell its first products here in the U.S. in 2010 before delaying that projection by a year. The new announcement puts BYD back on track for its initial target of 2010 and, perhaps not coincidentally, in line with the launch of the new Nissan Leaf.

The first vehicle BYD intends to launch in the States is the five-seat e6 crossover, with a price of just over $40,000. Details on the car's launch are still slim at this point, but WSJ indicates it will be a limited to a few hundred vehicles in select markets. Expect the initial vehicles to go to "government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities," according to BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu.

Last we heard, the all-electric e6 was capable of accelerating to 100 km/h (62 mpg) in ten seconds with a maximum speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). Perhaps more importantly, the car's range has been quoted at 300km (186 miles) on a full charge of its lithium ion battery pack.

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[Source: Wall Street Journal]