In 2021, BYD launched the Dolphin as the first model to adopt the marine design concept. A report from d1ev.com from January 2022 suggests that the company is working on three new marine-themed models for this year: BYD Seal, BYD Sea Lion, and BYD Seagull. Allegedly leaked material floating on Chinese portals reveals several details about these future BYD electric car models, with the Seal now officially confirmed and waiting for its debut.
The BYD Seagull (codename: BYD EQ) will belong to China’s A00+ car segment. With prices falling between CNY 60,000 and 80,000 (USD 9,417-12,556), this model will target EV customers with a tight budget. The BYD Seagull will arrive (in China) in the second quarter of the year (April-June 2022), as per the report, and could be a premium alternative to the Wuling MINI EV. Note that the timeline reported is from before the new wave of the Coronavirus that hit Chinese cities.
BYD Sea Lion
The BYD Sea Lion (codename: BYD UX) will follow in the third quarter (July-September 2022). It will reportedly be an SUV competing with the Tesla Model Y, which puts it above the Yuan Plus within the BYD lineup. The mid-size electric SUV will cost between CNY 200,000 and 250,000 (USD 31,391-39,239). It could have plenty in common with the BYD Seal, the upcoming electric midsize sedan that will compete with the Tesla Model 3, Xpeng P5, and Nio ET5. Expect the Sea Lion also to come fitted with the BYD Blade battery.
Recent Chinese reports, based on details observed in a spy picture (see on Twitter), say that the BYD Sea Lion could be the production version of the BYD X Dream concept (pictured above) that debuted at Auto China 2021. BYD said during the presentation that the concept features the brand’s “well-received” Dragon Face design language and uses Chinese knot elements, which will be a key feature on the design front of future vehicles.
Expect the BYD Sea Lion to feature a similar octagonal faux grille, sharp rectangular headlamps, bow-shaped sleek and elegant greenhouse, beefy wheel arches, and a crossover-typical hunched rear-end. The interior should be minimalist but more practical and realistic than the concept. Expect certain similarities with the Dolphin and Yuan Plus in the cabin.
Internally called BYD EK, the BYD Seal will be 188.9 inches (4,800 mm) long, 73.8 inches (1,875 mm) wide, and 57.4 inches (1,460 mm) tall, and its wheelbase will measure 114.9 inches (2,920 mm), as per Chinese portals. It will share the e-Platform 3.0 with the Dolphin. BYD will offer it with an 800-volt battery pack that provides it a (NEDC) range of up to 435 miles.
MIIT data suggests that the BYD Seal will launch in two single-motor RWD variants and a dual-motor AWD variant. The base RWD spec will employ a 150 kW motor, and the high-end RWD variant will use a 180 kW motor. The dual-motor AWD variant will use a 160 kW motor at the front and a 230 kW motor at the rear. The top speed of all variants will be 180 km/h.
The BYD Seal will debut in the following weeks and hit the company’s domestic market within a few months. Prices are expected to fall in the CNY 220,000-280,000 (USD 34,530-43,947) bracket.
Second-gen BYD Blade battery
It is reported that BYD is developing a second-generation Blade battery with a high energy density of 180 Wh/kg, a significant improvement over the current Blade battery with an energy density of 150 Wh/kg. That, along with a fifth-generation chip, will reduce power consumption in BYD EVs by 20%, increase the driving range by 3 percent while offering an increase in motor power and torque. That’s according to a news article from k.sina.com.cn, which also claims that the next-gen BYD blade battery is very likely to debut in one of the BYD Ocean series models. Note that BYD has issued no updates on the evolution of the Blade battery.
Warren Buffet & BYD Auto
BYD witnessed an exponential rise in the past decade. American investor Warren Buffet foresaw BYD’s growth in 2008 when he invested USD 232 million in the brand. BYD is worth nearly USD 100 billion according to Google Finance data (CNY 632.22 billion) as of April 2022. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway holds a 7.9% stake in the entire company as per Yahoo Finance.
The Oracle of Omaha’s early investment is undoubtedly paying massive dividends now. New models like the BYD Seal, BYD Sea Lion, and BYD Seagull are likely to spur growth as the new generation EVs pack immense export potential.
Featured image: BYD