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Chinese Automaker BYD to Launch Iron Battery Powered Cars in 2008

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BYD Auto's iron battery powered F6 E

SHANGHAI - October 12, 2007:

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Chinese car maker, BYD Automobile Co Ltd, says that it will begin mass production of plug-in hybrid electric cars based on iron batteries in the second half of next year, Xinhua News Agency reported today.

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“The iron battery proves to have better safety performance and larger capacity,” Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, told a press conference at Shenzhen, adding “The battery can be fully charged within ten minutes at a charging station or roughly 9 hours at home.”

Wang said the battery will be first equipped on the BYD F6 E model (E being electric), which will be priced at no more than 150,000 yuan ($19,966) in the Chinese market.

"The F6 E will be a 'bi-fuel' vehicle operated on both gasoline and electricity, thus customers can choose either the fuel system or electric battery in driving," Xia Zhibing, general manager of BYD Auto Sales Co, said at the sidelines of the conference.

Xia also claimed that "a 10-hour recharge could power the car as far as 400 kilometers with a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour, and their battery can be recharged up to 2000 times before it starts to degrade."

The Shenzhen-based company, previously a mobile phone batteries producer, aims to sell 100,000 cars this year, an increase of 67 percent from last year's 60,000 units.