BYD Automotive will expand its electric vehicle (EV) range in both directions in 2023, with the new entry BYD Dolphin entry hatch and BYD Seal sedan.

The Dolphin should become Australia’s cheapest electric car, undercutting the current champion: the $44,990 drive-away MG ZS EV.

BYD just published the price and specs for the 2023 Dolphin in China, with grades ranging between 116,900 RMB (around $A25,000) and 136,800 RMB ($29,000).

That suggests that when the Dolphin arrives – before mid-2023 at this stage– it’ll wear sticker prices in the $30,000 range, setting a new EV affordability benchmark.

At 4125mm long, the little BYD electric car is about the size of a Volkswagen Polo and a smidgen bigger than a Toyota Yaris.

All use a 44.9kWh BYD Blade lithium iron phosphate battery pack – this design is developed in house and supplied to other brands such as Toyota – meaning driving range claims of 400km to 420km.

The cheap entry grades are powered by a 70kW and 180Nm drive motor, which in the more expensive model grows to 130kW and 290Nm – snipping the 0-50km/h time (no 0-100km/h supplied) back from 3.9 seconds to 3.0s.

BYD claims a DC fast-charging time (30-80 per cent top ups) of 30 minutes at a peak rate of 60kW. As with the BYD Atto 3, AC wallbox charging is capped at 7kW.

The Dolphin sits on BYD’s new 3.0 EV-only platform, with MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, and disc brakes at each end augmented by regenerative braking.

All BYD Dolphins in China come with six airbags, ISOFIX anchors, cruise control, app-based remote start, LED headlights, alloy wheels, a 12.8-inch DiLink rotating touchscreen with voice control, over-the-air updates, and VTL compatibility.

Only the flagship 130kW grade in China comes with driver assist such as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition – which we’d expect would be standard in local cars.

The BYD Dolphin is not the only low-cost Chinese EV coming to Australia in 2023, with the all-new MG 4 and GWM Ora Cat also on their way.

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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