BYD unveils “absurdly cheap” Seagull EV in China

Bright yellow compact electric vehicle (EV) from BYD dubbed the Seagull
BYD's "Seagull" EV

China’s largest electric carmaker BYD has unveiled its latest EV, dubbed the “Seagull”, at the Shanghai Auto Show.

According to Reuters, the unassuming, bright yellow hatchback made its debut at the event, stunning visitors not so much for its look or its features, but the fact it will sell from just 78,000 yuan (AUD$16,887)—roughly half the price of the cheapest EVs currently on the market.

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The car is available in two range versions from 305 to 405 kilometres, with a fast charging system that will allow it to ramp up from 30% to 80% charge within 30 minutes, according to BYD. It will run on a lithium iron phosphate BYD Blade battery.

Bill Russo, the Shanghai-based founder and CEO of strategic advisory firm Automobility, predicts the Seagull will become the best selling car in China within six months of its launch.

“This redefines the whole market in terms of a price value proposition,” he said.

In recent years, the rise of Chinese automakers has remade the competitive landscape of the world’s largest auto market, and those companies, including BYD, are now readying to take their cut-throat domestic prices global by increasing exports.

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Russo predicts the value proposition of the Seagull will be compelling to overseas customers.

“Affordability is attractive to everyone anywhere, whether it’s an emerging market, the United States or Europe, this kind of car with this kind of value proposition will sell,” he said.

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