Chinese automaker BYD may be largely invisible in the U.S., but it's thriving in its home market.

Last year, the company sold more highway-capable electric cars and plug-in hybrids than any other company in the world.

Aiming to expand on that success for 2016, BYD is introducing two new electric cars for the Chinese market.

DON'T MISS: Who Sold The Most Plug-In Electric Cars In 2015? (It's Not Tesla Or Nissan)

The BYD Qin EV300 and e5 are meant to further broaden BYD's Chinese lineup, but like other BYD plug-in models, they likely won't be sold in the U.S.

The Qin (pronounced "chin") EV300 appears to be an all-electric version of the Qin plug-in hybrid first glimpsed at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

The plug-in hybrid version has been on sale in China for a few years, as well as Costa Rica.

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Qin EV300

The car itself is based on the BYD F3, a compact sedan that resembles older versions of the Toyota Corolla.

The all-electric EV300 has a 160-kilowatt (80-horsepower) motor that also produces 228 pound-feet of torque.

That will get the Qin EV300 from 0 to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds, BYD says.

ALSO SEE: BYD Qin Plug-In Hybrid Now On Sale In Costa Rica (Dec 2013)

BYD claims a 300-kilometer (186-mile) range as measured on the Chinese testing cycle. An equivalent U.S. EPA-cycle figure would likely be lower.

The company even claims that a "potential customer" achieved 349.5 kilometers (217 miles) during a test drive, but it may be wise to take that with a grain of salt.

The Qin EV300 also features a special air-purification system, a useful option giving China's notoriously poor air quality.

BYD e5. Photo by

BYD e5. Photo by

BYD had less to say about the e5, noting only that it has the same 186-mile range as the Qin EV300.

The e5 is based on the gasoline BYD Sui Rui sedan, and uses the same powertrain as the Qin EV300, according to Car News China.

It's "basically a cheaper and less fancy" version of the Qin EV300, the website concludes.

MORE: BYD electric-car sales may triple this year, Chinese maker says

Both vehicles can discharge electricity to help power houses during blackouts, BYD says.

Pricing in China starts at 259,800 yuan ($40,171) for the Qin EV300, and 229,800 ($35,553) for the e5.

BYD launched the world's first production plug-in hybrid—the rather crude F3DM—in 2008, but only recently achieved tangible success with plug-in cars.

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Qin EV300

Last year, in fact, it sold 61,772 electric cars and plug-in hybrids—more than Nissan, Tesla, or General Motors.

The vast majority of those cars were sold in China, where the government is aggressively pursuing greater electric-car adoption.

BYD has tried to enter the U.S. market, but has only been able to sell small numbers of electric buses here.


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