A news clip you’re unlikely to hear over the post-Corker grumblings and White House scurrying is the retail launch of the F3e hybrid car by Chinese auto manufacturer BYD.

BYD's new hybrid electric

Rolling out almost two years before the much-awaited Chevy Volt and with an all-electric range of 62 miles (versus the Volt’s expected 40 mi.), and combined hybrid potential of about 180 miles, the F3e comes without the sticker shock of a Tesla Roadster and is priced to go at around $22,000 USD. Don’t hold your breath in anticipation as you won’t see any on American shores until they pass NHTSA safety standards, according to the Houston Chronicle. Perhaps what happens to the millions of ‘released’ workers from a Big 3 meltdown is underneath our noses: might they possibly be working for a Chinese auto company setting up shop in the Great Plains states? Too soon to tell, but they’ll need a strong union to fight for wages above $2025/year, the mean salary in China for 2006.