BYD more than doubling its Australian lineup in 2024
BYD more than doubling its Australian lineup in 2024

BYD more than doubling its Australian lineup in 2024

February 20, 2024


BYD is set to have a busy 2024, with four product launches scheduled for Australia this year.

“BYD is the most exciting automotive brand in the world, we have huge plans for 2024 and our product portfolio,” said David Smitherman, the newly appointed CEO of BYD’s local distributor EVDirect.

“The Dolphin, Seal and Atto 3 will be complemented by the hotly anticipated Seal U in Q2 and a further three product launches before the end of 2024.”

The Seal U had long been expected to join the local lineup, given the plug-in hybrid SUV has been spied testing in Australia.

Outgoing EVDirect CEO Luke Todd has also previously indicated the company’s first ute is coming here in the second half of 2024, with examples already on the ground being tested.

As to what the other vehicles are, we have some hints.

Over in New Zealand, BYD recently confirmed it’s launching the Seal U and the as-yet unnamed ute in 2024, along with two other models: one that hasn’t been announced, with the other being the Sea Lion 07.

The latter is a mid-sized electric SUV that would give BYD more of a direct rival to the hot-selling Tesla Model Y.

The only other new product launch that EVDirect has announced for Australia is the Dolphin Sport, though this is simply a new variant of the existing Dolphin hatchback. It’s unclear, then, if the distributor is counting it as one of its launches.

BYD has released pricing ($49,890 before on-roads) but only a single image of the Dolphin Sport, which will feature a more aggressive look and a 0-100km/h time under 7.0 seconds.

While BYD has yet to announce the Sea Lion 07 for Australia, its availability in right-hand drive appears to make it a distinct possibility.

It’s the first of a new range of Sea Lion-badged models, much as the Seal sedan is just one member of a growing range of Seal-badged vehicles.

The Sea Lion 07 measures 4830mm long, 1925mm wide, and 1620mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2930mm.

These dimensions make the crossover just 5mm wider but 80mm longer than the Tesla Model Y.

The Sea Lion 07 battery electric vehicle (BEV) is based on BYD’s existing e-platform 3.0 EV architecture, which already underpins the likes of the Atto 3 crossover, Dolphin hatchback, and Seal sedan.

It incorporates Cell-to-Body (CTB) technology, which fully integrates BYD’s Blade battery into the vehicle structure for greater rigidity and safety.

While BYD has revealed a spate of other new products of late, from the small Yuan Up electric SUV to the mid-sized Seal 06 plug-in hybrid sedan, none of these have been confirmed for right-hand drive production.

EVDirect has previously confirmed it plans to launch at least two new vehicles each year from 2024, with the aim of being a top-five brand in 2025.

After launching here as an electric-only brand in 2022 – and vaulting up the charts to become Australia’s second best-selling EV brand behind Tesla – it’s now set to expand to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

Globally, BYD only produces EVs and PHEVs. It ceased production of purely combustion-powered vehicles in 2022.

The ute is set to launch here exclusively with plug-in hybrid power, though an electric version is in development.

BYD hasn’t detailed the ute’s plug-in hybrid powertrain at this stage, though previous reports have indicated it will consist a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine mated with two electric motors for a total system output of 365kW.

While the Seal U is available with electric power in some markets, it’s understood this electric version is only available with left-hand drive, leaving it PHEV-only for right-hand drive markets.

It features BYD’s DM-i plug-in hybrid system, mating a 78kW/135Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 145kW/300Nm electric motor.

There’s an 18.3kWh battery with 90km of NEDC range. It can be charged at up to 7kW using AC power and 18kW using DC power.

MORE: Everything BYD


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