First mass produced electric vehicle flops

The Chinese BYD F3DM, the first mass produced electric vehicle, has only had 80 sales. Apparently, it’s too expensive and the range of 60 miles before needing a recharge is too limited.

This is always been the problem with EVs. The range is too short, plus the recharging time is too lengthy, there aren’t enough recharging stations, and the cars are too expensive.


  1. Sorta like giant windmills on maglev bearings. Except that at least 80 of the BFD’s got built.

  2. Uh… Sorry Bob, but you’re wrong. The problem has nothing to do with the lack of range. Since you clearly missed it, let me point out that the F3DM is like the Volt (as noted in your link) in that it has an electric battery AND a gas engine generator. So at 60 miles, it doesn’t just die and strand you on the road side. It kicks on the gas engine and continues merrily down the road. Clearly, since you can drive the car 300 miles on a tank + charge, range is not the issue.

    The real issue is the fact that the average Chinese person makes just over $3,000 a year. When you’re trying to sell a car for 5x the average annual salary of a worker, is it any surprise they’re not selling? Look at the Tesla, that’s easily 5x the salary of the average US worker, and nobody’s amazed that they’ve only sold a hundred of those. It’s purely economics at work.

    This is like auto news folks that are all aghast over smart dealerships having a dozen cars on their lots. (I follow this, being a smart owner…) Auto journalists are saying “Now that gas is back down to $2/gallon, nobody wants them! They’ve jumped from not having any on the lot to having a 28 day supply!” Reality is, again due to the recession, most Ford and GM dealers would kill to have a 28 day supply, since most now have a 90+ day supply. And that’s assuming car sales return enough to meet the expectations built into the formula use to compute that number. Reality is they probably have enough monster cars to supply people through the end of the year, if not the end of the “big car” era.

    • Thx for the info. The Volt will be $40k, which is too much, esp. compared to a Prius. Plus I don’t think they know yet what battery will be used.

      How do you like your SmartCar?

      • Loving it… getting about 39mpg average, about 36 city, 44 highway. You can check out the details at the link below if you like. The smart gets the best gas millage of any non-hybrid car on the market today, and is one of only five cars this year preforming above the EPA rating based on user tracking.

        Of course some are doing better than me mpg-wise, since I like to put the top down and drive faster than I should. 🙂 Not a hyper-miler or anything here, just driving it like a car, and enjoying the weather when I can.

      • Hmm.. for some reason the link didn’t show up, nor the graphic… 😛 Ah well. 🙂 I’ll try it like this this time. 🙂

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