Chinese automaker BYD, which is looking to lead the market for alternative-energy vehicles in the country, has begun selling its e6 electric vehicle to individuals in China, according to reports.

The five-seater crossover, with a claimed operating range of 300 km, is powered by a 75 kW motor and BYD’s proprietary iron-phospate FE battery, which can be fully charged in 40 minutes through a 100 kW fast-charging cabinet and six hours via a standard 10 kW charging pole. The car has a sticker price of 369,800 Yuan (RM178,700).

Buyers in BYD’s hometown of Shenzhen will however qualify for as much as 120,000 Yuan in subsidies – in 2010, China introduced sales subsidies of up to 60,000 Yuan for each electric car purchased in Shenzhen and four other cities, and e6 buyers in Shenzhen will get an additional local subsidy worth 60,000 yuan. The city has also set up more than 60 EV charging stations.

The reports add that the Chinese government aims to have a million EVs and plug-ins on roads by 2015, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology. As of July this year, around 10,000 EVs and plug-ins were running in 25 trial cities, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.