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BYD Dolphin Launched in New Zealand

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The BYD Atto 3 was the top selling BEV in New Zealand in May, getting 223 sales. The BYD Atto 3 is also the top selling BEV in New Zealand over the past three months, with 1,024 sales, followed closely by the Tesla Model Y with 965 sales and the MG ZS EV in third with 623 sales. Kia’s EV6 is in fourth with 326 sales and the Tesla Model 3 rounds out the top 5 with 285 sales. In some more awesome news for New Zealanders, BYD is now adding the Dolphin to the New Zealand market.

Two variants of the small hatchback will be offered in New Zealand. These are the standard range version, with a 44.9 kWh battery, and the longer range model that is similar to the one that is coming to Europe, with a 60 kWh battery. The standard range version has a range of about 340 km and will start from about $49,990 New Zealand dollars ($30,311 USD) — and will cost about $42,975 NZ dollars after incentives ($26,058 USD). The 60 kWh version, with a range of 427 km, will start from $55,990 NZ dollars ($33,950 USD) and $48,975 NZ dollars ($29,696 USD) after incentives.

Comments on a lot of forums from people in New Zealand suggest that quite a few people were hoping that the Dolphin would start at lower prices. Some of this expectation is probably driven by the low prices on the entry level BYD Dolphin in China, which has max power output of 70 kW and 180 Nm 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. This version will not be offered in New Zealand at this time. The 30.72 kWh BYD Dolphin starts from about $15,000 USD in China.

The two variants now offered in New Zealand still make it to the top ten most affordable new BEVs in New Zealand. The 44.9 kWh Dolphin will now be the joint most affordable BEV in New Zealand along with the GWM Ora Cat and the standard range MG ZS EV. So, actually, the three most affordable BEVs in New Zealand are from China. The Chinese wave is now here? The longer range Dolphin is the 7th most affordable EV in New Zealand at this time. In fact, among the top 8 cheapest brand new BEVs in New Zealand, only the Nissan LEAF is not from Chinese OEMs. Interesting times!

BYD is accelerating its export drive and opening up in multiple markets around the world and is also adding more models to its export line up. The BYD Dolphin is one to look out for as it gets added to more markets around the world. The one I am really excited about is the smaller BYD Seagull, and I hope the Seagull gets added to the export roster ASAP.

Small hatchbacks dominate vehicle sales in many countries, as they are more affordable for a lot of consumers. Small electric hatchbacks like the BYD Seagull have potential to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

Images courtesy of BYD

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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