BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV worries rivals as it enters new markets

China’s BYD will launch its cheapest electric car in Europe next year. Ahead of its official debut, BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV is already creating a stir among foreign rivals.

BYD is on a list. Earlier this year, it declared a liberation battle against gas-powered vehicles and launched its cheapest EV, the Seagull Honor Edition.

Starting at $9,700 (69.80 yuan), BYD’s new Seagull EV is already striking fear into rivals. Powered by BYDs Blade batteries, the electric car is available in 30.08 kWh and 38.88 kWh models, which offer up to 190 miles (305 km) and 252 miles (405 km) CLTC respectively.

The low-cost EV earned the nickname mini Lamborghini after former Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger led the project.

Despite its affordable price, the Seagulls’ interior features a 10.1 center swivel display with an otherwise minimalist design. Users can also interact and play media with the DiLinks smart network.

BYD’s Seagull is available in three models in China. The base (Active) starts at under $10,000 (69,800 yuan). The Free device starts at $10,500 (75,800 yuan), while the top model Flying costs $12,000 (85,800 yuan).

BYD-$10K Seagull EV
BYD Seagull EV (Source: BYD)

BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV is causing a stir among rivals

Terry Woychowski, former GM executive and president of automotive at Caresoft Global, called BYD’s low-cost Seagull a potential clarion call to the rest of the industry earlier this year.

Caresoft, an engineering and consulting firm, looks at every vehicle component to determine how it can be improved for its customers. After testing the Seagull, the company said it was designed simply and efficiently. Most importantly, Caresoft was surprised by the quality and reliability of the electric cars.

BYD's Seagull EV $10k
BYD Dolphin Mini launch in Brazil (Source: BYD)

What they do is done very well, said Woychowski, it is done efficiently. BYD has already launched the Seagull in overseas markets, including Brazil.

The affordable EV is creating a stir among rivals. Ford CEO Jim Farley called it a pretty good car. Meanwhile, Martin Sander, head of Ford’s European EV unit, said, “Of course, we are nervous when new competition is coming to market.

Sold as the Dolphin Mini, BYD’s low-cost electric car starts at around $20,000 (BRL 99,800) in Brazil, undercutting most of the competition.

BYD's Seagull EV $10k
BYD Dolphin Mini EV (Source: BYD)

In Mexico, it starts at $19,780 (358,800 pesos). Mexico isn’t great for us though, according to BYD Americas CEO Stella Li. He explained: In the end we found a lot of demand, a lot of heat for the seagull.

Now, BYD aims even higher. Next year, it will launch the Seagull EV in Europe to compete with VW, Stellantis and others on its home turf.

BYD Pulebardha EV
BYD Seagull EV (Source: BYD)

Regardless of the fees, BYD expects the Seagull to start at less than 20,000 euros ($21,500). That’s still thousands lower than its rivals.

And BYD is not stopping there. The EV maker plans to launch a 25,000 euro ($27,000) electric car, according to European managing director Michael Shu. Additionally, with two plants planned in the region, BYD expects to overcome the potential impacts of EU tariffs on electric vehicles made in China.

Electrex Take

Although several automakers have recently announced plans to launch affordable electric vehicles, BYD is already leading the market.

With BYD’s $10,000 Seagull EV rolling out globally, rivals are bracing for impact. Other automakers, such as Ford and Kia, have shifted plans to focus on smaller, more affordable electric vehicles to keep up with demand.

Meanwhile, although BYD is best known for its low-cost electric cars, the automaker is expanding into new segments.

BYD launched the Sea Lion 07, a mid-size electric SUV set to rival Tesla’s best-selling Model Y. Starting at $26,250 (189,800 yuan), the new electric SUV undercuts the Model Y, which starts at $34,550 (249,900) in China.

The company is also launching a series of high-end luxury vehicles under its Yangwang brand. In February, the brand launched its first electric supercar, the U9, starting at $233,400 (1,680,000 yuan).

Yangwang’s first vehicle, the U8 SUV, made its European debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in February.

BYD also launched its first pickup, the Shark PHEV, last week in Mexico, which will rival Toyota’s Hilux and Ford’s best-selling Ranger.

Source: Bloomberg

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