Toyota, who I recently commented on, have been leapfrogged by BYD when it comes to making a vehicle that can be used largely as an electric car – the Prius does not yet have the range of the F3-DM or the ability to plug its batteries in at home to recharge it. This is the only hybrid mass produced car that I am aware of that can effectively be operated on battery only.
As most city trips are much less than 100kms operation of this vehicle in electric only mode is viable. Recharging at home takes 7 hours. A home owner purchasing 100% green power via the grid or with sufficient solar panels and who owns a F3-DM can now be genuinely emissions neutral in his/her direct consumption of energy by charging the car at home. Neither the home nor the car (provided trips are less than 100km) will produce any greenhouse gas in use.
The BYD car will be available in the USA in 2011. Am unsure if it will make it to Australia.
This is a great example of a carbon positive approach to business, and a very exciting development.