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PHOTO CAPTION: BYD F3 model now available as plug-in hybrid with 100 km electric-first driving range.

BYD Plug-in Hybrid Goes on Sale in China

Shenzhen-based BYD claims the F3 DM can run for 100 kilometers (62 miles) using only batteries.

Published: 15-Dec-2008

BYD Co., the Chinese automaker backed by Warren Buffett, started selling the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid, gaining an edge on Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. in electric-powered vehicles.

The F3 DM can run for 100 kilometers (62 miles) using only batteries, Shenzhen-based BYD said in a statement today. Toyota plans to begin testing plug-ins, which can be recharged from household powerpoints, late next year, it said in August. GM aims to start selling the Volt plug-in in late 2010.

BYD surged the most in two months in Hong Kong trading after saying the new model and government tax breaks for small cars would help it almost double vehicle sales next year. China is encouraging automakers to develop alternative-energy vehicles to curb oil imports and to help local companies challenge GM and Toyota, the world’s biggest hybrid-car maker, overseas.

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