BYD already sells its vehicles in over 400 cities in 70 countries around the world. BYD’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) sales in 2022 surpassed 1.85 million units, and this year BYD is hoping to sell over 3 million of these plug-in hybrid and full battery-electric vehicles. The optimistic target for BYD is closer to 3.6 million, meaning that it would have doubled the number from last year if it manages to achieve this. Just over 50% of the vehicles sold by BYD are plug-in hybrids under its “Dual Mode” (DM-i and DM-p) series. The rest of its vehicles are full electrics. BYD’s vehicles mostly fall under the Dynasty series (i.e., the Qin, Han, Tang, and Song) or the Ocean series (including the Seal and the Seagull).
One of the models in the Ocean series that BYD is now taking to the export market, including Europe, is the C-segment compact hatchback known as the Dolphin.
The Dolphin has been doing well in China, with monthly sales of over 20,000 units. In China, it has several variants, starting with a version that has 70 kW and 180 N·m of torque from the motor as well as a 30.72 kWh BYD Blade Battery (LFP/LiFePO4). It has a max speed of 150 km/h, a full-charge range of roughly 225 km (WLTP), a 7 kW AC onboard charger, and 40 kW DC fast charging capability. The Dolphin also has a version with a larger 44.9 kWh battery and upgraded DC fast charging up to 60 kW. Here is a video of the Dolphin in China.
BYD has just announced that a 60kWh Dolphin is coming to Europe where it will have four trim levels. It will be available in LHD and RHD markets. (Hello, UK.) The BYD Dolphin will be available from around June/July. Some reports say it will start from around €30,000. More information and exact prices will be announced closer to the official launch.
The BYD Dolphin was the first model in the Ocean series and the first to adopt the “Ocean Aesthetics” design concept providing a dynamic, stylish, and highly recognisable visual symbol. In the car’s design, the Dolphin, a marine mammal, is presented in both figurative and imaginative forms. BYD says the Dolphin also features a safe passenger compartment environment, with intelligent driver assistance systems and integrated braking systems to make travel safer and driving more convenient. Like the recently launched BYD ATTO 3, the BYD Dolphin is also built on the e-Platform 3.0.
The 60 kWh Blade Battery and a permanent magnet synchronous motor enables the Dolphin to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7 seconds. It has 290 N·m of torque and a 150kW/204 PS motor that helps the Dolphin reach a maximum top speed of 160 km/h. The four driving modes include Sport, Normal, Economy, and Snow modes to suit driving conditions and preferences.
The BYD Dolphin has a combined WLTP electric range of 427 km (265 miles). Charging power is 11 kW AC 3 phase. A 100 kW DC charger can replenish the battery from 30% to 80% in just 29 minutes. The BYD Dolphin is also equipped with vehicle-to-load (V2L) tech, so the car battery can easily charge external devices.
A high-efficiency integrated heat pump is also standard. BYD says “the industry’s first direct cooling and heating system for power batteries increases the thermal efficiency by up to 15% in the winter. This innovative system leverages the residual heat from the surroundings, the powertrain, the passenger compartment and even the batteries, and can work at a wide range of temperatures. Intelligent thermal management for extreme weather conditions enables an excellent low-temperature driving range. As a sub-function of the smart brake system, the CRBS coordinated regenerative braking system can efficiently recover the braking energy of the whole vehicle.”
The Dolphin is a 5-seater with “sports seats” and headrests made from vegan leather. The heated front seats have a six-way electric adjustment for the driver and a four-way electric adjustment for the front passenger. The rear seats provide “generous” legroom for passengers, made possible by the e-Platform 3.0. The seats can split 60:40, allowing the 345-litre boot to be expanded to 1,310 litres when both seats are folded flat. The range-topping variants feature a large panoramic sunroof made of high-strength acoustic and thermally insulated double-layer grey glazing, which BYD says has a glass area comparable to that of a D-class luxury car. This provides users with an ultra-wide-angle view, a larger light area, and a more transparent view. It is also equipped with a 97% sunshade to keep occupants cool on hot summer days.
BYD also says the Dolphin comes standard with an abundance of safety and advanced driver assistance features. All models feature Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Brake, Lane Departure Prevention, and Emergency Lane Keeping Assist. Adaptive Cruise Control and Intelligent Cruise Control add to the enjoyment of driving. The panoramic camera provides the driver with 360-degree visibility for safe vehicle maneuvering. In addition, a Blind Spot Detection System, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Decent Control, Automatic Vehicle Hold, and Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limit Control are included as additional driver aids.
Here is a summary of the main BYD Dolphin (60 kWh) specifications:
|Top speed (km/h)||160|
|Motor power (kW)||150|
|0–100 km/h acceleration time (s)||7|
|Wheel size (inch)||16/17|
|Electric range (km)||427 (WLTP combined)|
|Trunk volume (L)||345/1,310|
|Seating capacity (occupants)||5|
|Battery type||BYD Blade Battery (LFP)|
|Rated capacity||60 kWh|
|Charging power||88 kW DC
11 kW AC (3 phase)
|DC charging time (30–80%)||29 minutes|
|V2L function||Standard (3.3 kW)|
There are already some feelings being shared on several forums where people have been saying the estimated starting pricing of €30,000 is a bit high. This is probably because people have been looking at the price of the Dolphin in China where the Dolphin starts from around €15,000. This €15,000 is for a 30kWh version, so therefore the €30,000 for double the battery plus some additional features as standard may not be that outrageous, and especially after factoring in shipping & distribution costs, import duties, VAT, and other stuff. Perhaps people were looking forward to the Dolphin being priced just under the very popular MG4 or thereabouts. Overall, though, this model is coming to Europe in a very popular compact hatchback segment. I hope it will do well there. Let’s wait and see when the final pricing is announced and deliveries begin.
Images courtesy of BYD
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