BYD’s new compact EV leaked by Chinese ministry · TechNode

The newest member of BYD’s Ocean household of EVs has been inadvertently revealed in China by the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), as the electrical automobile maker seems to increase its management in a aggressive entry-level market phase.

Why it issues: The compact EV, known as Seagull, will seemingly be the most affordable mannequin in BYD’s lineup, and the Warren Buffett-backed automaker will face stiff competitors in a phase dominated by standouts reminiscent of Wuling’s common and cheap Hongguang Mini EV.

Details: The Seagull compact SUV will measure round 3.8 meters in size with a wheelbase of two.5 meters, in line with data launched by MIIT on Jan. 11. This is shorter than the size of 4.1 meters and the wheelbase of two.7 meters of BYD’s Dolphin hatchback, each beneath the corporate’s ocean-themed EV household.

  • Outed in a number of photos from MIIT, the Seagull’s rounded silhouette and sharp shoulder line comply with the identical sporty design language as the remainder of the automaker’s Ocean fashions, which cater to a youthful shopper phase in contrast with its Dynasty Series.
  • Industry observers estimated the Seagull could be priced under RMB 100,000 ($14,916), in contrast with the Dolphin, which is priced between RMB 116,800 and RMB 136,800. The Seagull shall be powered by an electrical motor with an output of 55 kW, additionally decrease than the 70 kW delivered to the Dolphin.
  • The Chinese authorities requires automakers to submit paperwork concerning new product data earlier than launch to achieve approval for fashions bought within the nation. A BYD spokesperson declined to touch upon launch particulars when contacted by TechNode on Monday.

Context: Budget-friendly, entry-level micro-EVs accounted for round one-third of passenger electrical automobile gross sales in China final 12 months, in line with figures from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). Competition within the sector has been heating up lately, and consumers are extra price-conscious than these of luxurious automobiles.

  • Wuling’s Mini EV maintained its title as China’s best-selling EV mannequin in 2022 with gross sales of 404,823 models, representing a slight 2.4% enhance from a 12 months earlier. Other common micro-EVs embrace Chery’s QQ Ice Cream and Changan’s Benben, with deliveries of every exceeding 90,000 models final 12 months. Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed Leapmotor additionally bought 61,919 T03 compact hatchbacks, CPCA figures confirmed.
  • Earlier this month, BYD mentioned it had delivered greater than 230,000 Dolphin automobiles because the launch of the primary mannequin beneath the Ocean Series in August 2021. The firm additionally bought greater than 50,000 Seal crossovers final 12 months after supply started in August. The Seal, the second member of the Ocean marque, is a direct rival to Tesla’s Model 3 with a beginning worth of RMB 212,800.
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Jill Shen is Shanghai-based expertise reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous automobiles, and electrical automobiles. Connect together with her through e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen
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