China& s Electric Cars & the Road to an Affordable EV …

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BYD Auto has been the child for electric cars in ever since Warren invested in the company back in But in recent months new players, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Daimler AG and maker Electrovaya, have onto the scene as well []

BYD has been the poster child for cars in China ever Warren Buffett invested in the back in September. But in recent new players, including the Renault-Nissan Daimler AG and battery maker have come onto the as well making China more and more likely to electric cars a strong into the mass market.

Plug-ins are slated to hit the Chinese in earnest over the next few BYD s plug-in hybrid F3DM on sale (for fleet late last year, and it s to launch its first all-electric the E6 in the second half of 2009. announced plans in November to selling electric cars in the by 2012. On Friday, the Renault-Nissan said it expects to roll out cars (and charging as part of a pilot project in China s Wuhan by 2011.

In February, China s Chery unveiled an electric concept car at the Auto Show.

Some of companies are also working on models for the U.S. market. BYD to sell its electric E6 and a plug-in sedan in the U.S. by 2011. has started working with and utilities in California and Oregon to up for regional electric vehicle next year.

Daimler, is working on an electric version of its Fortwo, has just introduced the gas in China, joining a league of lookalikes.

General Motors EV1

The big boon for automakers and battery and consumers looking for more alt-fuel cars would be China has the world s second-largest car (it exceeded U.S. sales for the month in a row in March), and as the Wall Journal reports, the government is to help it grow an average of 10 a year for the next three If plug-ins take off among consumers, it could help drive down production with higher volumes by selling their own vehicles or from battery suppliers of scale.

But there s a bit of a Catch-22: remain high for mass in China. With a price tag of $22,000, BYD s F3DM available to fleet operators at this is too costly for companies to go for it en masse. to reports from Chinese picked up by AutoblogGreen and GM-Volt BYD has sold just 80 F3DM in four months.

BYD aims to bring that down to about $16,000 higher production volumes, along by U.S. and EU buyers. would put the F3DM well GM s $40,000 Chevy Volt and with Honda s 2010 expected to have a base of just under $20,000. to Fortune magazine s cover this week, BYD s cost-cutting so far include hiring people to batteries instead of buying the robotic arms used by competitors, flying executives in for business travel and putting up in suburban rentals instead of downtown hotels for events.

For those of you ready to hit the comment and point out that China most of its energy from which means electric would be plugging right dirty energy, some for thought: Taking a gas-powered car off the in China and replacing it with an one would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 19 according to a MicKinsey report recently in the New York Times. it s a bad trade? The floor is yours.

General Motors EV1

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