BYD launches new Dolphin EV starting under $14K as price war with ICE cars heats up

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BYD launched the new Dolphin Honor Edition with more performance, an improved design, and an even lower price tag. The new BYD Dolphin EV starts at $13,900 (99,800 yuan), fueling the automaker’s declared price war on ICE cars.

Meet the new BYD Dolphin EV Honor Edition

After declaring a price war with gas-powered vehicles earlier this week, BYD is launching what could be its most important EV yet.

The new model is BYD’s cheapest Dolphin so far, starting under $14,000 (99,800 yuan). Since launching in 2021, BYD’s all-electric hatch hatch has continued to put up impressive sales numbers.

BYD sold 367,419 Dolphin models last year, up 79% over 2022. The electric hatch made up 12% of BYD’s total sales in 2023. It’s also expanding overseas, with recent launches in Japan, Mexico, Europe, Brazil, and others.

In fact, after launching just last year in Japan, BYD already accounted for 20% of Japan’s imports last month. And Japan is not a known importer. Domestic automakers like Toyota dominate the market, while most vehicles brought in are luxury models.

BYD Dolphin Honor Edition trim Price Battery Range
(CLTC)
Vitality 99,800 yuan
($13,900)
32 kWh 302 km
(187 mi)
Free 112,800 yuan
($15,700)
45 kWh 420 km
(261 mi)
Fashion 119,800 yuan
($16,700)
45 kWh 420 km
(261 mi)
Knight 129,800 yuan
($18,000)
45 kWh 401 km
(250 mi)
BYD new Dolphin EV Honor Edition prices

Now, the new model should see even more demand. The new entry-level Dolphin starts at $13,900 (99,800 yuan) with up to 187 mi (302 km) CLTC range. That’s nearly 5% cheaper than the previous model.

The other three variants are priced between $15,700 and $18,000 (112,800 and 129,800 yuan) with up to 261 mi (420 km) CLTC range.

BYD-new-Dolphin-EV
BYD new Dolphin EV Honor Edition (Source: BYD)

At 4,125 mm long, 1,770 mm wide, and 1,570 mm tall, the new Dolphin is the same size as its predecessor. In comparison, the EV is slightly smaller than Volkswagen’s ID.3 (4,261 mm long, 1,809 mm wide, and 1,568 mm tall).

BYD’s new electric hatch maintains much of its design, including the “Dolphin” eye LED headlights. The Honor Edition model does include new 16-inch five-hole flower wheel and two new colors.

BYD-new-Dolphin-EV
BYD new Dolphin EV Honor Edition (Source: BYD)

It also gains a 50W wireless phone charger, a new type-C charging port, and ventilated front seats. The new BYD Dolphin keeps its 12.8″ rotating screen and 5″ instrument display inside.

One of the most notable improvements is an updated rear suspension. With an independent suspension, the new Dolphin Honor Edition is closer to the version launched in Europe.

The Dolphin EV is still powered by two electric motors, but it gained new LFP battery options. BYD’s base model is powered by a 32 kWh battery, while the next up is equipped with a 45 kWh pack for up to 261 mi (420 km) range. A 60 kWh version will roll out with up to 323 mi (520 km) CLTC range.

Electrek’s Take

The new Dolphin launch comes after BYD declared a price war against gas-powered cars earlier this week.

After launching the Qin Plus EV Honor Edition starting at $15,000 (109,800 yuan), BYD warned it is “officially opening a new era of electricity is lower than oil.” The DM-i (PHEV) version is even cheaper at $11,000 (79,800 yuan) with up to 74 mi (120 km) NEDC electric range.

BYD’s price war with gas-powered cars comes after introducing the Qin Plus Champion Edition last year. Starting at $13,900 (99,800 yuan), the Champion Edition was the first time a BYD DM-i vehicle was priced below 100,000 yuan.

Although BYD is often compared to Tesla to gauge sales and demand interest, it’s legacy automakers that are lagging in EV tech that need to worry.

While several automakers, including Ford, GM, and most recently Mercedes-Benz, are delaying EV goals, leaders like BYD and Tesla are plowing ahead.

BYD is considering building a plant in Mexico as it looks to establish an “export hub” to the US. With EVs starting under $14,000 hitting the market, US automakers are already feeling the heat.

At a Wolfe Research conference last week, Ford’s CEO Jim Farley said if you can’t compete with the Chinese, “then 20% to 30%” of your revenue is at risk. Ford will focus on smaller, more affordable EVs to keep up.

BYD, already the leading EV maker globally, looks to solidify its position this year with new models in key segments, including luxury, mid-size SUVs, and affordable.

Source: CarNewsChina, BYD Weibo

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