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PHOTO CAPTION: BYD F3DM is first production plug-in hybrid with 60 miles electric-first driving range.

World's First Plug-In Electric Hybrid Goes on Sale in China

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., invested in a 9.9 percent stake BYD, manufacturers of the F3DM.

Published: 16-Dec-2008

NGHAI, China -- Battery maker turned car company BYD Co. has launched China's first homegrown hybrid vehicle for the retail market, seeking an edge over its crisis-stricken international rivals.

BYD presented the vehicle, known as the F3DM, in a ceremony in the southern city of Shenzhen, where local officials have pledged to buy some of the cars in support of the project.

The vehicle can run up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) on its electric engine, and when it runs low on power shifts to a back up gasoline engine. Its battery can fully charge in nine hours from a regular electrical outlet, or much faster at BYD's own charging stations, the company said in a statement.

The car will sell for 149,800 yuan ($22,000), about the same as many Chinese-made mid-sized cars, it said.

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