The BYD Dolphin will – narrowly – become Australia’s most affordable electric vehicle (EV).
The base Dolphin Dynamic wears a price tag of $38,890 before on-roads, offering 340km of electric range on the WLTP cycle.
Orders will open at 8pm tonight, with shipments scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Luke Todd, CEO of BYD’s local distributor EVDirect, said pricing had been locked in for the Dolphin for roughly a month.
He wouldn’t comment on MG’s pricing decision, but said: “Competition is good. Australians have been crying out for affordable electric vehicles, and we’re delivering an affordable, high-quality EV.”
Full details will be revealed at an event at Sea World tonight, however Mr Todd confirmed the Dolphin will be available in four colours.
The base Dynamic’s 340km range figure indicates it uses the 44.9kWh ‘Blade’ lithium iron phosphate battery. It’s unclear whether the larger 60.4kWh battery, which bumps range up to 427km, will be offered locally.
BYD offers the smaller battery in other markets with a choice of 70kW and 130kW electric motors, with the larger battery offered with a 150kW electric motor.
AC and DC charging capability is up to 7kW and 60kW, respectively, with the smaller battery, rising to 88kW and 11kW with the larger battery.
Export-market Dolphins measure 4290mm long, 1770mm wide (with mirrors folded) and 1570mm tall on a 2700mm wheelbase. There’s 345L of boot space, increasing to 1310L with the rear seats folded.
Standard equipment on the Dolphin Dynamic includes a 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a panoramic moonroof, heated seats, heat pump and climate control. Safety equipment includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic assist.
The Dolphin rides on BYD’s new 3.0 EV-only platform, with MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, with disc brakes at each end augmented by regenerative braking.
All BYD Dolphins in China come with six airbags, ISOFIX anchors, cruise control, remote start, LED headlights, alloy wheels, a 12.8-inch rotating touchscreen with voice control, over-the-air updates, and 3.3kW vehicle-to-load compatibility.
A full suite of safety technology is available depending on the variant, which includes autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic assist, and a surround-view camera.
The Dolphin v MG 4 fight is the latest match-up between MG and BYD, which have already duked it out with their ZS EV and Atto 3 crossovers.
The base MG 4 uses a 51kWh battery with 350km of WLTP range, powering a rear-mounted electric motor with 125kW of power for a 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds.
It’s also available with 64kWh and 77kWh batteries and 150kW and 180kW electric motors, with a high-performance dual-motor all-wheel drive model under consideration for Australia.