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Chinese Electric Car Maker to Launch e6 Vehicle

September 22, 2009

FRANKFURT, GERMANY --- Chinese electric car and battery manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. hopes to become a leading supplier in incentive programs aimed at bolstering the use of electric cars in Chinese cities, a senior company executive told Reuters. 

"The Chinese government supports 10 cities to each have 1,000 electric vehicles for public transportation," Henry Li, general manager of BYD Auto's export trade division, told Reuters during the Frankfurt Motor Show. 

"With this we already have a quite high demand for electric vehicles," he told Reuters. 

Though BYD hopes to supply many e-cars for this program in the coming years, there is plenty of competition, Li acknowledged. 

Li said demand would initially come from governments, taxi businesses and corporate fleets in all markets. "The trend is to go electric, but how much and how long the government will support (the electric car segment) is very difficult to say," he said. 

BYD will launch its e6 electric vehicle by the end of 2009 in China. In 2010, the e6 will be introduced to the United States, Li said, adding: "Our forecast for (market launch in) Europe is before the end of 2011," Reuters reported. 

BYD hopes to sell as many as 9 million units of its hybrid and rechargeable electric vehicles by 2025. BYD and Volkswagen signed a memorandum of understanding in May to explore potential partnership in the area of hybrids and electric vehicles.

"Talks with further European and U.S. companies are ongoing," Li said. However, he noted, "nothing has finalized yet."

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