BYD Auto Delays U.S. Launch of Electric Car

Chinese automaker BYD has pushed back the launch dates of its electric F3DM model in the U.S. and European markets. BYD chairman Wang Chuan Fu told reporters that the company plans to sell its plug-in hybrid cars, the country’s first homegrown electric vehicle, in markets outside China starting in 2011.

BYD initially aimed to start selling the vehicles outside China in 2010. The chairman did not give a reason for the delay, but unfavorable market conditions in the U.S. and Europe are probably to blame.

The F3DM is available in 14 Chinese cities at 149,800 yuan ($21,890), about twice the price of a similarly sized gasoline-powered car in China. Wang called on the government to help make the vehicles more affordable. “If the government can provide supportive measures such as tax incentives, the price of the cars can be reduced to the level that the public can afford,” he said.

Source: Reuters