Fri, Dec 17, 2010 - Page 10 News List

US electric car maker Fisker to sell in China

AP, SHANGHAI

Electric car maker Fisker Automotive plans to sell its luxury Karma model in China, teaming up with a local distributor of top auto brands.

Irvine, California-based Fisker has reached an agreement with vehicle retailer and service provider China Grand Automotive Group (廣匯) to sell Fisker vehicles in its more than 200 outlets, which carry such brands as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Lamborghini.

The Fisker Karma is due to debut in China at the Shanghai Auto show in April and to begin deliveries by the autumn, the company said in a release seen yesterday on its Web site. The hybrid sedan has a total range of 483km and can travel 80km on electricity alone.

The first factory-built Karma debuted at the Paris auto show in October.

China is promoting the use of electric vehicles with subsidies and other incentives, but has yet to construct a widespread system of charging stations and other infrastructure — one factor behind the relatively low level of interest so far in purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles in a market that is forecast to grow 30 percent this year.

Meanwhile, China’s BYD Auto (比亞迪) and the Housing Authority of Los Angeles say they have launched a trial program for a fleet of BYD electric cars, as the battery-maker turned car company moves a step closer toward its goal of sales in North America.

Company spokesman Paul Lin (林密) said yesterday that BYD, which is backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is aiming at US sales of its K9 electric bus next year and hoping to begin sales of its E6 electric car in the US by 2012.

Lin denied reports that BYD was facing intellectual property problems for its batteries, but said the company was struggling to keep up with demand.

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