Mike Stevens | Jan 14, 2009

Chinese manufacturer BYD looks like it may have swept in to steal the limelight in the promised land of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The F3DM sedan combines a 1.0 litre petrol engine and an electric motor with a battery pack that can be charged from a standard wall socket.

The combined output measures up to a not-insubstantial 125kw of power and 400 Nm of torque. The F3DM is capable of running the 0-97 km/h sprint in 10.5 seconds onto a top speed of 150 Km/h. More importantly though is the claimed 98 kilometres range on battery power alone and a combined range of 580 kilometres.

byd-f3dm-erev

Inexplicably the batteries can be quick-charged to 50 percent of their capacity in only 10 minutes, while a full charge takes seven hours.

Based on what is already one of China’s best selling cars, the F3DM (or F3 Dual Mode being able to run on electricity alone or a combination of petrol and electricity) makes some big claims. This may however prove to be the best way for BYD to receive some attention as the brand begins its push into international markets.

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