Chinese car company BYD still promises EVs will be sold in the U.S. by 2011. BYD has made bold statements before regarding when their vehicles would go on sale in the U.S., but this time they seem to stand behind their release stating that they will bring electric vehicles to the U.S. by 2011.
BYD, was and still is a battery maker in China but has now turned their attention to making electric hybrid vehicles. The company entered the automotive business in 2003 and doubled their sales last year to more than 20,000 total units. They have hinted at making vehicles for the U.S. market several times, but the release date has always been delayed.
Recently, BYD announced plans to sell to PHEV similar to the Chevy Volt called the F6DM for under $22,000 and they also plan to sell a crossover utility vehicle here called the BYD e6 for around $30,000. The BYD e6 is capable of traveling up to 250 miles on a single charge. For a comparison, the Volt is only expected to travel 40 miles on all electric power.
Since BYD is the second largest rechargeable battery producer in the world they have a step up on most of the competition in terms of battery capability and production. BYD's general manager Henry Z Li said, "Battery technology and motor control are the key to this vehicle (e6), we have quite a lot of experience and know how in this process."
Many analysts are still skeptical about BYD selling cars in the U.S. by 2011. Senior manage of AutoPacific Stephanie Brinley said, "No, not by 2011." As a new upstart company, BYD has a lot ahead of them to enter the U.S. market. They have no brand identity or recognition, no production facilities, no crash testing for the U.S. market, no dealership and so on.
However, most analysts agree that the vehicles that BYD makes are particularly strong in their category, citing it's not the vehicles that will hold BYD back, rather the automakers lack of experience, expertise, and retail operations.