24 May 22

Sales start of BYD’s Tesla Model 3 rival is a big hit

Sales start of BYD’s Tesla Model 3 rival is a big hit

BYD has started taking pre-sales in China of the Seal, its compact EV that steps into direct competition with the Tesla Model 3. Expectations are exceeded. After six hours the company registered 22,637 orders, which corresponds to more than a third of annual production (60,000 units).

With its sleek lines and length of 4,4 metres, the Seal is, together with the Nio ET5, one of the most daring Chinese contenders for the Tesla Model 3. But with a price range between 212,800-289,800 RMB (or 31,890-43,430 USD) the compact sedan is circa 9,000 dollars cheaper.

No nickel or cobalt

Besides a more favourable price tag, the technology doesn’t disappoint. The Seal is the first BYD featuring cell-to-body technology (CTB), where the battery cells form a structural component eliminating supplementary module housing. It results in less weight, less cost and better autonomy.

Available in four versions, the range fork of the Seal forks lies between 550 and 770 kilometres (according to the optimistic Chinese CLTC cycle). There are two battery packs, with an energy content of 61.4 and 82.5 kWh. Composed of LFP the chemistry of the cells doesn’t require nickel or cobalt and they’re also significantly cheaper and safer due to greater stability. China is a promotor of LFP cells, Tesla also uses them on the models manufactured in their Shanghai facilities.

The Seal’s top version Performance gets all-wheel drive, the Long Range and both Standard versions are RWD. Currently, BYD hasn’t announced plans for exporting the Seal. But the local market is big enough. Last year China’s EV market tripled, accounting for half of the global EV registrations.

Image Source: BYD

Authored by: Piet Andries