A little while ago, we wrote about the BYD F6DM, what might turn out to be the first plug-in hybrid car on the market. There's no doubt that BYD (aka Build Your Dreams) has a certain advantage over other companies that are trying to bring a plug-in (or electric car) to market: They are China's biggest battery maker, and number two worldwide.

And they are very hungry. Already we learn that the F6DM will be followed by the smaller and less expensive F3DM (pictured above). If the F6DM is close to a Camry, the F3DM is very similar to a Corolla.
We don't yet know the specs of the car or the target price, but if BYD's claims about its batteries are true, it could be a game-changer:

The F3DM uses BYD's self-developed iron batteries, which the company said could be recharged for more than 2,000 times and can power the car to run over 600,000 miles. The car equipped with BYD's batteries can travel as long as 100 miles after one charge, much longer than the 25-mile duel model vehicles offered by other automakers.

The 100 miles per charge is for electric-mode only. If you need to drive more than that distance, a small gasoline engine (a 1.0 liter in the F6DM, not sure yet about the F3DM) will recharge the battery and extend the range of the car. But since most people drive a lot less than 100 miles per day, this generator would be needed very little, meaning very low emissions.

Wang Chaunfu, BYD’s Chairman, also said that he plans to introduce a dual mode sedan (probably the F6DM first) in Europe within 2-3 years.

BYD says the F3DM has a range of 100 km (62 miles) on battery power alone with a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph). The 330V, 40 Ah Li-ion pack has life of more than 2,000 cycles, according to BYD Auto. On a household 220V power supply, a full recharge takes 8 to 9 hours. 

The DM powertrain incorporates BYD’s own 50 kW 3-cylinder, 1.0-liter BYD371QA aluminum engine, and has a combined maximum output of 125 kW.

BYD Auto says it plans to begin production of all-electric vehicles in 2009.