I’m not that inspired by the name of this car but as the worlds first commercial plug-in hybrid the F3DM manufactured by BYD in China does manage to make history. With a range of 109 km running on battery power only (before the internal combustion engine is needed) it promises to be a smog buster. It seems to use an existing Lithium battery technology (Lithium iron phosphate battery) which bodes well for the plug-in genre because there is arguably much better battery technology coming through the commercialisation pipeline (eg Eestor and also the Nanowire battery). The BYD F3DM went on sale in China this month (December 2008) with a price tag equivalent to US$21k. Warren Buffet has bought $230 million worth of stock in the company.
This doesn’t have much to do with freedom but I thought it might appeal to those here interested in the global warming debate and proposed technological solutions. Personally I think that plug-in hybrid vehicles have a bright future as the price and quality of batteries continue to improve. I think this is true irrespective of whether governments offer financial and regulatory support and irrespective of whether AGW is real or otherwise. I expect plug-in hybrids to be entering the mainstream in less than ten years. The F3DM suggests that perhaps I’m being a pessimist.