BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV is teasing its rivals when it reaches new markets

Chinese company BYD will launch the cheapest electric car in Europe next year. Ahead of its official debut, BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV has caused a stir among foreign rivals.

BYD is in full swing. Earlier this year, it announced a “liberation battle” against gas-powered vehicles and launched its cheapest electric car, the Seagull Honor Edition.

Starting at $9,700 (69.80 yuan), BYD’s new Seagull EV is already causing fear among competitors. Powered by BYD’s Blade batteries, the electric vehicle is available in 30.08 kWh and 38.88 kWh models, which offer up to 190 miles (305 km) and 252 miles (405 km) of CLTC range, respectively.

The low-cost electric car earned the nickname “mini Lamborghini” as former Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger led the project.

Despite its reasonable price, the Seagull’s interior features a 10.1-inch rotating central display with a minimalist design. Users can also interact and play media using the DiLink smart network.

BYD’s Seagull is available in three models in China. The base (Active) starts at less than $10,000 (69,800 yuan). The free model starts at $10,500 (75,800 yuan), while the range-topping Airline model costs $12,000 (85,800 yuan).

BYD – $10,000 – Seagull-EV
BYD Seagull EV (Source: BYD)

BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV has caused a stir among competitors

Terry Wichowski, a former GM executive and head of Caresoft Global’s automotive division, called BYD’s low-cost Seagull a “clarity call to the rest of the industry” earlier this year.

Caresoft, an engineering and consulting company, looks at every component of a vehicle to determine how to improve it for its customers. After testing Seagull, the company said it was simple and efficiently designed. Most importantly, Caresoft was pleasantly surprised by the quality and reliability of the electric vehicle.

BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) launched in Brazil (Source: BYD)

“What they do is done very well, and it is done efficiently,” Wojciechowski said. BYD has already launched the Seagull in foreign markets, including Brazil.

The affordable electric vehicle is creating buzz among competitors. Ford CEO Jim Farley called it a “very good” car. Meanwhile, Martin Sander, head of Ford’s European electric vehicle unit, said: “Of course, we get nervous when new competition comes to the market.”

BYD’s low-cost electric car is sold under the Dolphin Mini name, and has a starting price of around $20,000 (R$99,800) in Brazil, undercutting most of the competition.

BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) EV (Source: BYD)

In Mexico, the price starts at $19,780 (358,800 pesos). Although Mexico is “not great for us,” says Stella Lee, CEO of BYD Americas. “In the end we found a lot of demand, a lot of heat” for Seagull, Lee explained.

Now, BYD is aiming higher. Next year, it will launch the Seagull EV in Europe to compete with Volkswagen, Stellantis and others in its home country.

BYD Seagull EV (Source: BYD)

Despite the tariffs, BYD expects the Seagull to start at less than 20,000 euros ($21,500). This is still thousands less than its competitors.

And BYD doesn’t stop there. The electric vehicle manufacturer plans to launch an electric car priced at 25,000 euros ($27,000), according to European managing director Michael Shaw. In addition, by setting up two factories in the region, BYD expects to overcome the potential impacts of EU tariffs on electric vehicles made in China.

Take Electric

Although several automakers have recently announced plans to launch affordable electric vehicles, BYD is already leading the market.

With BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV on the global rollout, competitors are bracing for its impact. Other automakers, such as Ford and Kia, have changed their plans to focus on smaller, more affordable electric vehicles to keep up with demand.

Meanwhile, although BYD is best known for its low-cost electric vehicles, the automaker is expanding into new segments.

BYD has launched the Sea Lion 07, a midsize electric SUV set to rival Tesla’s best-selling Model Y. Starting at $26,250 (189,800 yuan), the new electric SUV undercuts the price of the Model Y, which starts at $34,550 (249,900) in China.

The company is also launching a series of luxury cars under its Yangwang brand. In February, the brand launched its first electric supercar, the U9, with a starting price of $233,400 (1,680,000 yuan).

Liangguang’s first vehicle, the U8 off-roader, made its European debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in February.

BYD also launched its first pickup, the Shark PHEV, last week in Mexico, which will compete with Toyota’s best-selling Hilux and Ford Ranger.

Source: Bloomberg

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