BYD challenges Toyota in Japan with its $33K Seal EV

BYD challenges Toyota in Japan with its $33K Seal EV

BYD Limited, China’s leading automobile manufacturer, has posed a challenge to Toyota in its home market by launching its latest electric vehicle, the Seal EV, in Japan. The Seal EV is BYD’s thirst electric car to be launched in Japan. The Chinese automaker’s bold entry into Japan with its EVs underscore its ambitious plans to challenge Japanese automakers in their own country.

Priced competitively at just $33,000, the BYD Seal EV aims to attract consumers with its remarkable range and high-tech specs. It will try to snatch market share from both conventional ICEs and modern EVs in the market.

The first BYD EV to be launched in Japan was the Atto 3, one of the top-selling battery-powered electric SUVs in the world. It was launched in Japan in January 2023, with a starting price tag of under US$30,000 (approx. ¥4.4 million).

In the month of September last year, the Chinese automaker launched its second EV in Japan, the pocket-friendly Dolphin. It starts at roughly US$24,500 (approx. ¥3.63 million), and competes with the likes of the Toyota Prius and Nissan LEAF. Thus, the BYD Seal is the third EV from the Chinese brand to enter the Japanese market.

The BYD Seal will compete with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan. At the same time, it is expected to pose a tough challenge to Toyota.

On BYD’s official Japanese website, the base RWD version of the all-electric Seal EV can be seen listed at ¥5.28 million, which is equivalent to approx. $33,100. It offers a range of up to 398 miles (roughly 640 km) on a single charge. In China, this EV starts at 179,800 yuan, which is equivalent to approx. $25,800. The AWD version of the Seal EV starts at ¥6.05 million, or approx. US$37,900. This variant offers a range of up to 357 miles (roughly 575 km) between two charges. For power, both versions rely on an 82.56 kWh battery pack.

The first BYD dealership in Japan was opened in February last year. Since that time, the company has sold nearly 2,500 EVs in the East Asian country.

Remaining undeterred in its quest to expand its footprint in the Japanese market, BYD has plans to launch at least one EV annually and establish 100 dealerships by the end of 2025. Obviously, the success of BYD in Japan will go a long way in helping the brand to gain traction globally.

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