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BYD Launches Dolphin In Thailand At Price Parity With Popular ICE Vehicles!

BYD in partnership with Rever Automotive has launched the BYD Dolphin hatchback at the 44th Bangkok International Motor Show. That’s not all the good news. There’s more good news! Rever Automotive has announced that the Dolphin will start at 799,999 Baht, which is about $23,256 after government incentives. This is close to some of the popular ICE (internal combustion engine) hatchbacks in Thailand, such as the Toyota Yaris Premium S, which starts at 694,000 Baht ($20,178).

BYD Dolphin unveiling in Thailand. Image courtesy of BYD.

The Dolphin starts almost at parity with the ICE Honda City RS, which is priced from 749,000 Baht (about $21,777). The Dolphin is even cheaper than the Honda City plug-less hybrid that starts from 849,000 Baht, which works out to about $24,684. To have a great EV at close to price parity with well-established popular ICE vehicles will definitely help accelerate the adoption of EVs in Thailand.

The Dolphin offered in Thailand has a 180 Nm electric motor and a 44.9 kWh Blade Battery, giving a range of 410 km NEDC. It has AC charging up to 7 kW as well as vehicle-to-load functionality and DC charging up to 60 kW.

All this goes to show how much progress has been made over the past 10 years or so. One can now get a car with a 44.9 kWh battery in Thailand for just $23,25. To put that into perspective, when the first generation Nissan Leaf was launched, it had a 24 kWh battery and it was starting above $36,000 in most countries. Another good example to show is the current version of the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf. Although it is a bigger car than the Dolphin, it has a slightly smaller battery but costs 1,990,000 Baht in Thailand, which is about $57,834!. The Dolphin will allow more people in Thailand to afford an electric car with a ~40kWh battery.

BYD Dolphin unveiling in Thailand. Image courtesy of BYD.

The Dolphin will join the ATTO 3, which has already been launched in Thailand and seen over 10,000 ATTO 3 electric cars being registered in the country. Earlier this month, BYD started constructing a plant in Thailand that will produce 150,000 vehicles per year. The vehicle plant in Thailand will boost the supply to ASEAN member states and also serve as a base where these affordable EVs will be exported to other right-hand-drive markets. ASEAN member states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore.

It’s really great to see that the Dolphin has gone on sale in Thailand at prices that are very close to and competitive with some of the popular ICE vehicles from big brands in the compact hatchback segment, such as Honda and Toyota. This should help the Dolphin get some good sales. We have been waiting for this kind of thing — more EV models coming in at parity with more ICE models in their respective segments. It looks like it’s starting to happen in more countries now. In the UK, we saw last year when the MG4 hatchback was launched that it was priced at parity with the entry-level ICE version of the VW Golf. Where and what competitive electric models will be next?

Images courtesy of BYD

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