In China, EV giant BYD overtook market leader Volkswagen for the first time in the first quarter of 2023. But the battery manufacturer is also gaining a foothold in Europe – we have summarized everything you should know about the company in this article.
Build Your Dreams: The company history in a nutshell
The abbreviation of the company name “BYD” stands as an acronym for “Build Your Dreams”. The Chinese conglomerate was founded in February 1995, initially as a small battery manufacturer with 20 employees. In 2003, the company bought out an ailing state-owned automaker to obtain a license to manufacture automobiles.
Today the subsidiary BYD Auto Company is true one of the largest manufacturers of electric cars in the world, but the company has rather humble origins. Shortly after the acquisition, it continued the production of the BYD Flyer with moderate success, but later focused on replicating foreign models. For this purpose, the vehicles were first dismantled in order to sort out all patented components and replace them with custom-made products. Examples of this are the BYD F3 and the BYD M6, which are each based on the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Previa. The procedure together with the know-how gained enables BYD to largely do without suppliers, since most of the components can be manufactured in-house (source: ChinaAnalysis.com)
This learning process in combination with the history of the parent company as a battery manufacturer allowed the development of new, proprietary technologies. This is how BYD presented Auto 2008 China’s first hybrid vehicle, the F3DM. The plug-in hybrid was based on the basic building blocks that were laid with the F3. It owes a significant contribution to the success of the company to the expansion of the commercial vehicle sector. The eBus from BYD is used in London, Amsterdam, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen, among other places.
In 2021, BYD made the leap to Europe. Since August, the BYD Tang has been available in Norway, one of the leading markets for electric cars. Finally, in the following year the sale of cars with pure combustion engines was discontinued. The first showroom in Germany opened in January 2023, and the sub- and luxury brand Yangwang was introduced (source: insideevs.de)
Models from BYD: The Chinese e-car giant can do that
Even if the manufacturer has significantly more up his sleeve, there are currently only 3 models from BYD for Germany available:
- Der Act 3 is the first model on the German market alongside the Tang SUV and the Han sedan. The front-wheel drive creates 150 kilowatts, the top speed is 160 km/h. Paired with a 60.48 kilowatt-hour battery, a combined WLTP range of up to 420 kilometers should be possible. The Atto 3 draws up to 88 kW via a DC charging station and manages to charge from a charge level of 30 percent in just under 30 minutes 80. It takes 80 minutes to go from 0 to 100 percent with the same charging capacity. However, this type of loading is not always advisable. The compact SUV should initially cost 38,000 euros (source: bydauto.de)
- There BYD He should conquer the upper middle class. It has permanent all-wheel drive with a maximum output of 380 kilowatts and a torque of 700 nanometers with a top speed of 180 kilometers per hour. The power for this is provided by an LFP battery from our own production with a capacity of 85.4 kilowatt hours, which can cover a combined WLTP range of up to 521 kilometers. The battery can be charged from 30 to 80% in 30 minutes using a 120-kilowatt charger. The sedan will cost you at least 72,000 euros and will compete against the Tesla Model S in the future.
- The trio of the first models on the German market completes there BYD Tang away. The SUV relies on the same drive as the Han, so here too 380 kW are lurking in all-wheel drive. At 86.4 kWh, the battery capacity is slightly larger than the Han, but due to the high weight it offers a slightly shorter range of around 400 kilometers. The SUV also drives at a maximum of 180 kilometers per hour. You have to pay 72,000 euros for the Tang (source: Auto, Motor und Sport).
BYD: That’s in the near future
While the three models mentioned above have already landed in Germany since the end of 2022, more will follow two more Chinese in the summer of 2023.
- There BYD Seal should compete in the middle class against the Tesla Model 3. The sea lion comes in 2 versions, one with rear-wheel drive and 230 kW (313 hp) and one with a whopping 390 kW (530 hp) on all four wheels. Nevertheless, no matter how powerful the engine is, 180 kilometers per hour is the limit. The Seal’s battery has a capacity of 82 kilowatt hours, which, depending on the engine power, achieves a range of between 520 (at 230 kW) and 570 kilometers (at 530 hp) according to the WLTP guideline. Connected to a fast charging station with an output of 150 kilowatts, the battery is charged from 30 to 80 percent within 26 minutes. How much BYD wants for the seal is not yet clear, in China it starts at the equivalent of 25,000 euros. But it will probably not be that cheap with us.
- The Dolphin WORLD is the Chinese manufacturer’s answer to the VW ID.3. The compact model delivers 150 kW, i.e. 204 hp, to the front axle. Under the seats is a 60 kWh battery, which will take you 427 kilometers according to the WLTP guideline. Like the Atto 3, the Dolphin charges from 30 to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a charging capacity of 88 kW. In Germany we will probably have to pay between 30,000 and 38,000 euros for it.
BYD models: Arrange a test drive – this is how it works!
BYD makes it easy for prospects and allows simply online on your own website to arrange a test drive. In addition to your own name, you only have to enter your email, postcode and preferred model and select the preferred contact method.
You have to tick the box under the field “Is there anything in particular you are interested in?” don’t click, here you only agree to the subscription to a newsletter. Finally, you can use the black box to request a test drive.