As mentioned before on this site, Chinese battery maker BYD aims to be a front runner in production of electric cars. In order to accomplish their goals, they have taken a new approach and are currently entered in talks with U.S. and European automakers to supply power trains to other automotive companies.
BYD has marketed and released their own plug-in hybrid in China. The F3DM was released in December of last year. The company plans to import hybrid and electric vehicles to the states by 2011. However, that date has been set back several times already.
BYD's easiest method for entering the U.S. and European markets is through supplying power trains to automotive companies within a given country. BYD plans to choose a few automotive companies and supply them with the entire hybrid power train right down to the battery system.
The hybrid power train could be easily adapted to existing cars and platforms and penetrate a market quickly. BYD has no dealers or marketing networks in place in the U.S. at this point and it could be years before they do. By developing power trains for the domestic companies, BYD could immediately gain a foothold on the hybrid market in the U.S.
Later this year, BYD will launch its first all electric car the E6 in the Chinese market and they expect overall sales to double this year to 400,000 units. Lofty numbers in these troubled times, but their ambition may be just what is needed during the economic downfall.