China's BYD takes aim at US market with electric car

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Indy Lifestyle Online

China's Build Your Dreams Auto took aim at the US market Tuesday with the unveiling of a four-door electric car at the Detroit auto show.

BYD aims to have the e6 ready for sale in North America by the end of 2010, which would make it the first Chinese automaker to enter the highly competitive market.

"As a major developer and manufacturer of electric vehicles, BYD is devoted to creating safe, efficient and affordable electric vehicles," said Henry Li, general manager of BYD Auto Trade Export.

The full-sized, four-door electric vehicle offers a maximum range of 205 miles, a maximum speed of 87 miles per hour, an acceleration from zero to 60 of less than 14 seconds and operates at a third of the cost of a comparable gasoline vehicle, Li said.

It would be powered with a home charging station and BYD also hopes to establish a network of charging poles at offices, stores and standalone stations.

BYD is China's fourth largest automaker and sold 450,000 vehicles there in 2009, a 180 percent increase from a year earlier.

It aims to sell 800,000 vehicles in China this year and to become the nation's largest automaker in 2015.

BYD hopes to eventually establish research and development and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Li said at a press conference.

The automaker is still working on establishing a distribution network in the United States.

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