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China: BYD debuts new plug-in sedan

BYD Co. Ltd., a Chinese carmaker backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, debuted its new generation plug-in sedan on Monday and said it was likely to go on sale by the end of this year or early in 2013.

The successor to BYD’s F3DM (dual mode), which can be powered by either by gasoline or electricity, would sell for about 200,000 yuan ($31,700), Paul Lin, business director of BYD Europe B.V. told Reuters on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show, which opened to media on Monday.

BYD launched its first green push in late 2008 by launching the F3DM, which is now priced at 168,900 yuan, and has since sold about 1,500 of the cars. Chinese government subsidies for hybrid cars are up to 80,000 yuan each, Lin said.

China has set up an ambitious goal of putting 500,000 hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads by the end of 2015, rising to more than 5 million by 2020.

High battery prices, a dearth of charging stations and concerns about their safety have kept consumers on the sidelines. Last year, only 8,159 of the new energy vehicles were sold across the entire country, according to industry data.



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