Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese automaker BYD Co. is likely to choose the Los Angeles area as the initial market for the electric car that it plans to sell in the U.S. starting in 2010. Los Angeles is said to be attractive to BYD because electric cars are “most suitable for densely populated areas with lots of air pollution problems,” the newspaper said.
BYD said earlier this year that its EV, known as the E6, will be a big vehicle, weighing 4,453 pounds and costing more than $40,000. It will have a 249-mile range and will offer recharge times between seven and nine hours on regular household current. Permanent magnet synchronous motors will drive the wheels, generating 268 HP and 406 ft-lb of torque. BYD has said that the vehicle will be targeted at “government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities,” according to stories that appeared earlier this year.
California is said to be shaping up as a battleground for electric vehicle launches in 2010. The Wall Street Journal writes that General Motors will focus its initial Chevy Volt efforts in California and Coda Automotive is targeting southern California for the launch of its all-electric sedan late next year.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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