Will the BYD Dolphin be the first mass-market EV?
When BYD launched their Atto 3 EV in Malaysia a few days back, they brought along two of its brothers and gave us a preview of what products we can expect from them in the near future.
While the BYD Seal with its stunning coupe-ish looks and long 700km range, instantly gave the launch event some sophistication, it was the BYD Dolphin that pretty much stole the show.
Why did it steal the show? Well, the BYD Dolphin could potentially be the Perodua Myvi of the EV world, thanks to its fantastic value proposition.
The BYD Dolphin is a five-door hatchback almost the same size as a regular B-segment hatchback (around the same size as the Perodua Myvi). It’s slightly smaller than the Atto 3, and in China, it is sold for 94k yuan (RM59k).
For that price, you would instantly assume that it has got to be some EV with lacklustre performance and low driving range, but on the contrary, the Dolphin can do 0-50km/h in 3.0 seconds, and if driven sensibly, give you 401 kilometres of travel.
The BYD Dolphin is powered by a single electric motor up front, capable of pushing out with 174 hp and 290 Nm of torque. The motor receives its power from the Blade lithium metal phosphate (LFP) battery, developed by BYD, with a capacity of 44.9 kWh.
If you don’t trust BYD’s battery technology, you should because BYD also supplies this LFP Blade battery to Toyota for the bZ3 model. If Toyota, one of the world’s best car makers trusts BYD’s battery technology, then who are we to say anything else?
Here’s the kicker though, the Dolphin we have just mentioned with the price tag of 94k yuan (RM59k), is actually one of the higher-spec models because in China, they offer other versions of the Dolphin, which are even cheaper.
The Dolphin variant under the one we mentioned comes with a lesser-powered motor featuring 94 hp/180 Nm. However it still comes with a 44.9 kWh battery, and 0-50km/h performance has only been reduced to 4 seconds.
There’s also a base variant, which has the same power as the mid-level Dolphin, but its battery capacity has been reduced to 30.7 kWj which only gives it around 300km of range.
As for charging, the top and mid-level Dolphin can accept DC fast charging of up to 60kW, but the base spec can only accept up to 40kW. The fast DC charging can juice up the Dolphin from 30-80% in 30 minutes, while the Dolphin can be fully charged in six hours and 25 minutes through an AC charger.
To be honest, all variants of the BYD Dolphin sound good, but if BYD can manage to sell any of the variants below the RM100k mark, the BYD Dolphin might just be the true EV for the masses, where people might actually consider adopting an EV.
We all thought the GWM Ora Good Cat might be the EV to be the first accepted by the mass-market, but at RM140k, it still feels too expensive.
We want to hear your opinion. Let us know in the comments.