The Chinese BYD group is presenting a 3.78 meter long electric small car from its Ocean series: we are jealous here in Europe
A halfway decent electric car for 10,000 or 15,000 euros: That’s what many people here in Europe want. BYD is presenting such a vehicle in China: The Seagull is a small electric car with prices ranging from 78,800 to 95,800 yuan, the equivalent of around 10,000 to 13,000 euros.
The new model was presented at Auto Shanghai. And it’s met with keen interest in China: The Seagull received 10,000 orders in the first 24 hours after the presentation, as CarNewsChina now reports. The Seagull is the smallest model in the “Ocean” series, which also includes the BYD Dolphin (dolphin) and the BYD Seal (seal). All three vehicles are based on the e-platform 3.0.
At 3.78 meters, the Seagull is somewhere between the Fiat 500 Electric and the (discontinued) Mini Cooper SE. The height of 1.54 meters corresponds more to that of the Fiat, the Mini is about ten centimeters lower. The wheelbase is 2,500 mm. The Seagull is offered as a four- and five-seater; the pictures show five doors.
A 55 kW motor provides the drive, which enables a top speed of 130 km/h. Two batteries are offered, both are manufactured in-house by BYD and have cheap LFD (lithium iron phosphate) chemistry. The 30 kWh battery provides a range of 305 km in the less demanding Chinese CLTC cycle. The second option is a 38 kWh battery for 405 km. Both can also be charged with direct current. The batteries should be able to be brought back to 80 percent in 30 minutes – according to Reuters, however, from 30 to 80 percent.
The car doesn’t look bad for European tastes either. Above all, however, the model impressed the trade fair visitors with its low price, even for China. A Chinese analyst quoted by Reuters said he expects the Seagull to become the best-selling car in China within six months of launch. So far, the even smaller Wuling Hongguang Mini EV has played this role.
The model “redefines the entire market in terms of value for money”. He expects that the car will also convince overseas customers, because an affordable car is also attractive in the United States or Europe.
The inside is as modern and fresh as the Seagull looks on the outside. There is a 5-inch diagonal instrument display and a 12.8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The steering wheel is slightly flattened at the bottom; there is also wireless charging for smartphones and two cup holders.
The Seagull is positioned below the BYD Dolphin, which at 4.07 meters long and 1.57 meters high is already the size of a Renault Zoe but is also affordable at 116,800 to 136,800 yuan (15,000 to 18,000 euros). The Dolphin is currently the best-selling car of this size in China; 20,000 to 30,000 pieces per month are sold. Finally, the BYD Seal is a 4.80 meter long mid-range sedan, more of a competitor to the Tesla Model 3.
BYD has already announced a number of electric cars for Europe, initially the Atto 3, the Han and the Tang, and in 2023 the aforementioned Dolphin and Seal models are also scheduled to start. However, none of these models can be configured on the German website, and there are also no sales prices. After all, a leasing price (399 euros per month) is specified for the Atto 3. You can also arrange test drives for the first three models.