The BYD Dolphin is already Australia’s cheapest electric vehicle (EV), but the Chinese brand’s local distributor wants to bring in something even smaller and more affordable.
While it’s not currently part of BYD’s cadence of new product bound for Australia over the next 12 months, at least, there’s still a desire to offer the BYD Seagull to Australian car buyers, according to the CEO of BYD’s local distribution partner EVDirect, Luke Todd.
“The Seagull has certainly been a popular vehicle since being released and we’ve had discussions about bringing the Seagull to Australia but it hasn’t been confirmed,” said Mr Todd.
“Officially, it’s not coming, but it is a vehicle that down the track we’d like to see come here.”
Measuring 3780mm long, 1715mm wide and 1540mm tall, this diminutive five-door fully-electric hatchback is marginally smaller than, say, a MG 3 or the Seagull’s Dolphin stablemate with which it shares its e-Platform 3.0 underpinnings.
Power in the BYD Seagull comes from either a single 55kW or 75kW electric motor driving the front wheels exclusively, powered by either a 30.08kWh battery offering a range of 305km (NEDC) or a larger 38.88kWh unit with 405km of range (NEDC).
Top speed is said to be 130km/h, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 13.0 seconds; 0-50km/h is over in a claimed 4.9 seconds.
In its home market of China, the Seagull is offered in three trims: the Vitality Edition, Freedom Edition and Flying Edition.
The EV was designed under the lead of ex-Alfa Romeo, Audi and Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger with sharp lines, a sloping roofline, and a full-length light bar connecting the tail lights.
Inside and in line with other members of its ‘Ocean’ series, the Seagull gets a two-tone cabin and large centrally mounted 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display.
If BYD give the green light to the Seagull it should find plenty of willing budget-conscious new car buyers, says Mr Todd.
“We think it would be very popular but what we’ve done very successfully here at BYD is bringing in vehicles that are very attractive in their individual segments, and we’ve got a strategic plan as to when vehicles will come and that’s why the Seagull is not on the current agenda,” concluded Mr Todd.
BYD is set to introduce a new plug-in hybrid ute and mid-sized SUV during 2024 as part of its plans to launch at least two new models (or more) per year.
It has, however, ruled out bringing the recently revealed Sea Lion 07 mid-sized electric SUV in 2024.