The 2025 BYD Shark will arrive later this year as the market’s first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) dual-cab ute, and while it won’t offer a 3500kg towing capacity, the brand has indicated more heavy-duty vehicles are on the way.

    Speaking with Australian media, BYD Asia-Pacific general manager Liu Xueliang said that while the first-gen Shark – due here in the second half of 2024 – won’t make the benchmark towing figure demanded by Australian buyers, it doesn’t mean future generations and other new products won’t offer this capability.

    “We will bring many different variants and different generations of certain models to the Australian market,” Mr Liu said via translator.

    “For the BYD Shark, probably the first generation we won’t be able to do more than 2.5 tonnes [towing capacity], but we will also keep upgrading them and creating new models as well… eventually there will be many new models and upgraded models to satisfy the 3.5-tonne towing capacity.”

    It’s unclear whether there are more BYD utes in the pipeline based on Mr Liu’s comments, or whether he’s referring to future models like an SUV based on the Shark’s platform as being able to handle a 3.5t towing load – but we may not have to wait long.

    Managing director and executive chairman for BYD’s distribution partner EVDirect, Luke Todd, mentioned to media that BYD and EVDirect currently have “more than eight vehicles” under development for right-hand drive markets, all of which are being assessed for Australia to launch in the coming 18 months – some are electric, others are PHEVs.

    Further, EVDirect’s chief said that Australia is “the” key export market for the Chinese brand. Clearly, the land Down Under is a big priority for BYD’s portfolio, and it’s moving quickly.

    Mr Todd said Australia has been a leading influence in the Shark’s development, labelling the ute as “the most Australianised” of all the company’s vehicles so far.

    “The Shark has been built around Australia,” Mr Todd told Australian media.

    “I was with five engineers for several weeks… hands on, tools under the vehicle. So I know how much effort we’ve put into the Shark.

    “We’ve got some Sharks [in Australia] at the moment doing some testing, and it’s the most Australianised out of all of our vehicles.”

    The 2025 BYD Shark was officially revealed in Mexico City earlier this week, and is the Chinese electrified vehicle specialist’s first foray into the commercial ute market.

    It’s powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain featuring a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, two electric motors, and the company’s signature Blade battery pack.

    The 320kW plug-in hybrid drivetrain includes a 170kW/310Nm electric motor at the front and a 150kW/340Nm e-motor at the rear. It has a claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds.

    Equipped with a standard 30kWh battery pack, the BYD Shark is said to have an electric-only range of 100km under the older, more generous NEDC testing protocol. The Shark supports DC fast charging up to 40kW.

    In hybrid mode, the Shark is said to have a fuel consumption rating in Mexico of 7.5L/100km. Starting with a fully charged battery, overall fuel consumption is said to be 1.5L/100km and total range is claimed to be 850km.

    BYD should beat Ford to the punch with a PHEV ute. The upcoming Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will feature a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor.

    The Blue Oval hasn’t detailed the drivetrain’s outputs, though it has quoted “over 45 kilometres” of pure electric driving range on the stricter WLTP test cycle.

    Ford’s Pro Power Onboard system will effectively enable vehicle to load (V2L) like the BYD, though unlike its Chinese rival – and like diesel-powered Ranger models – it will offer a 3.5t braked towing capacity.

    At this stage, the Ranger Plug-in Hybrid is due to land in Australia sometime in 2025.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know in the comments if you’re picking a BYD Shark or a Ranger PHEV as your electrified dual-cab ute.

    MORE: 2025 BYD Shark is a 320kW plug-in hybrid Ranger rival
    MORE: Everything BYD Shark

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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