BYD‘s local distributor EVDirect has been delivering Atto 3 electric SUVs for more than three months now, and will soon introduce a smaller new model to rival the forthcoming MG 4 and GWM Ora Good Cat electric hatchbacks.
Luke Todd, CEO and managing director of EVDirect, has confirmed to CarExpert the BYD Dolphin will launch in Australia in the first half of 2023.
The exact date for when orders for the Dolphin open will be announced in February next year, according to Mr Todd.
This follows Mr Todd saying in September this year the BYD Dolphin would go on sale locally either late 2022 or early 2023.
Few Australian details about the BYD Dolphin are confirmed thus far, but it will likely have a different name locally, according to Mr Todd, as Dolphin is what it’s called in the Chinese market.
Names including EA1 and Atto 2 have been speculated thus far, but no name for the Australian market has been announced yet.
The electric hatchback will be priced underneath the Atto 3, according to Mr Todd, which recently received a price rise of $3630 and now starts at $48,011 before on-road costs.
Pricing between the $35,000 and $40,000 mark has been previously speculated, but it’s unclear if this accurate now given the rising prices of lithium-ion battery packs, among other factors.
The BYD Dolphin was first revealed in concept form in April 2021 during the Auto Shanghai motor show, and in production form later in 2021.
A camouflaged prototype version was recently spied on Sydney road and posted on Twitter by user Lachlan Smith.
In China the small hatchback is available with two-single motor powertrains and two battery packs.
‘New energy vehicle’ brand BYD is currently expanding at a rapid pace, rolling out its EVs in Europe, Japan, and Australia – where its Atto 3 small SUV is selling in strong numbers after a few launch speed bumps.
In fact, the Warren Buffett-backed EV and battery supplier eclipsed three million EV and PHEV sales globally last month.
BYD Auto wants to create a “powerful brand matrix” comprising BYD-branded cars, premium spinoff Denza, and a luxury SUV-focused brand called Yangwang.
The Chinese carmaker also plans to launch “another new brand” which will specialise in “professional and personalised identities, covering family cars and luxury cars”.
“The brand will harness the co-creation with users and warmly welcome all the franchised dealerships to join BYD for its promotion,” it added, suggesting the cars with higher degrees of personalisation.