Facts about the BYD Dolphin (EA1)

BYD Dolphin (EA1)
BYD Dolphin (EA1)

The upcoming BYD Dolphin (EA1) is probably the most awaited electric car right now. It’ll be the first electric car that can realistically reach the top 10 of world’s best selling cars, competing head-to-head with gas cars in price and availability.

However, there is some misinformation online about this amazing third generation electric car from BYD.

 

While it’ll be built on the new BYD e-platform 3.0 that allows 1.000 km of NEDC range and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3 seconds, it doesn’t mean that the small electric hatchback will get these specs. Notice that this is an electric car that BYD is aiming for everybody, but especially for younger buyers that want good electric cars that are also affordable.

Longer range and faster acceleration will come later with larger and more expensive models.

 

Chinese media have been reporting that the BYD Dolphin will come first with two Blade battery options for ranges around 400 and 500 km. This is also what the documents published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) suggest. The documents show this electric car homologated with two different weights (1.405 and 1.285 kg). A third battery option can come later.

 

BYD Blade battery with CTP technology

 

 

BYD Dolphin standard version

  • Length: 4.070/4.125 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2.700 mm
  • Width: 1.770 mm
  • Height: 1.570 mm
  • Gross vehicle weight: 1.660 kg (with passengers and cargo)
  • Curb weight: 1.285 kg (empty vehicle)
  • Motor: 35 kW (constant) and 70 kW (peak)
  • Max speed: 150 km/h
  • Battery: LFP (LiFePO4) Blade battery by BYD
  • Estimated range: around 400 km (NEDC) and 300 km in WLTP
  • Estimated price: 100.000 yuan (12.889 euros)

 

In China, electric cars need to have at least 400 km of NEDC range to be eligible for full government subsidies. This is why nowadays most Chinese electric cars have at least 400 km of NEDC range, even the affordable models.

 

BYD Dolphin longer range version

  • Length: 4.070/4.125 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2.700 mm
  • Width: 1.770 mm
  • Height: 1.570 mm
  • Gross vehicle weight: 1.780 kg (with passengers and cargo)
  • Curb weight: 1.405 kg (empty vehicle)
  • Motor: 35 kW (constant) and 70 kW (peak)
  • Max speed: 150 km/h
  • Battery: LFP (LiFePO4) Blade battery by BYD
  • Estimated range: above 500 km (NEDC) and 375 km in WLTP
  • Estimated price: 140.000 yuan (18.044 euros)

 

Considering the weight difference (120 kg) between the two versions, the longer range variant should have around 15-18 kWh more of battery capacity. The NEDC range can actually be superior to 500 km, I estimate it to be around 550 km (above 400 km in WLTP).

 

BYD Dolphin (EA1) is compact but with long wheelbase for maximizing interior space

BYD Dolphin (EA1) is compact but with long wheelbase for maximizing interior space

 

Anyway, this electric car and the popular European Renault ZOE have very similar dimensions, but the BYD electric supermini has more interior space thanks to its longer wheelbase. Moreover, the BYD Dolphin with its 800-volt system and LFP (LiFePO4) batteries will be more durable and charge faster.

In foreign markets I expect that only the longer range version will be available. In Australia the BYD EA1 is expected to arrive early next year with a price below 35.000 AUD (22.218 euros) and the price for the European market isn’t known yet.

The BYD Dolphin will be the first real attempt of a Chinese automaker to conquer foreign markets with an electric car that offers unmatched value for money. By next year this small electric car is expected to lead the charts of best selling electric cars not only in China, but also Europe and Australia.

 

Meanwhile in most Zoom meetings about EV sales…

 

Zoom meeting about EV sales

Zoom meeting about EV sales

 

 

More info:

https://www.miit.gov.cn/datainfo/dljdclscqyjcpgg/xcpg345/art/2021/art_cf00a4e0c227480c861eca91ff6a7f13.html

https://www.miit.gov.cn/datainfo/dljdclscqyjcpgg/xcpg345/art/2021/art_ddc4f84e11b14af39666047e7f21efdb.html

https://chejiahao.autohome.com.cn/info/8442880

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Frederico Matias
19 days ago

Although the platform allows 800 Volt, being this an entry level car (with not that many cells), can it possible only rely on 400V arquitecture (or even less)?! if LFP voltage is 3,2v, to reach 800v it would require 250cells right? or am I missing something?! As you mentioned in the blade battery possibilities articel, the cells are expeced to have around 202ah so 250cells*202ah*3,2v would give something around 161kwh… my math is probably not that good… please explain me as if I am really dumb (I run away from math after 9th grade) if this small car can indeed have 800v architecture… I can only see something like this with very small capacity cells (ah) or very big (kwh) batteries

Mike/Liverpool
19 days ago

A game changer
As i uderstand it, battery pack will be 150 wh/kg ish…..but VERY safe & tough……it all comes down to if China wants to export to Europe & if so at what price?

I bet EVERY ICE producer is on the phone to their goverments DEMANDING this is stopped entering their markets……because this is like the VW Beetle it will put BYD on the map

Mike/Liverpool
19 days ago
Reply to  Mike/Liverpool

a 33 kw battery pack would be good
44 bhp with over boost to 93 i see………….smart thinking

Chris / Berlin
5 days ago
Reply to  Mike/Liverpool

Exactly my thinking. This would be an instant hit that every other EV manufacturer is delaying to increase rev. I would buy immediately.

Mike/Liverpool
19 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

We got to get more people into Ev’s………..We can’t wait 10 years for people to be driving 10 year old Tesla’s…………this is what is needed a basic 125 mile range Ev with fast charge…….it can be used as a 2nd car.

My Bro has a Toyota Hybrid & a zoe, he loves the Zoe but it can’t do bigger trips………..

If its coiming in under £20,000 i say to would be buyers, “Look it will save you £1500 a year so after 10 years your save £15,000!…………..the car in real terms only cost £4,000 or £400 a year!”

Frederico Matias
18 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Fully understand and agree… it will be bether for a thinner (thus more cells) with lower power (ah) so that voltage is higher without have to take a very big pack (kwh) … Thank you for clarifying this Pedro to the common guy 🙂 ….

Julian
18 days ago

This electric car is almost how I imagine a Volkswagen ID.2.

Marcel
18 days ago

The EA1 should be a big deal if it’s imported into Europe and other countries in large numbers.

It’s essentially the same size as a Kona EV, probably with better interior space, with almost as much range, but much much cheaper. The KonaEV’s sales was very popular at one point, but its sales were limited by production, not demand. So if the Kona is any precedent, an EV like the EA1 has a very high ceiling in Europe, not to mention China and everywhere else.

I have a small quibble with the cartoon though: I think how to sell more EVs is make them more affordable yes, but also give them longer ranges, as Maarten Vinkhuyzen has been saying for a while now.

As new EVs come out and the range / price ratio increases, sales increase a lot as the EVs become practical and convenient for significantly larger market segments. As EV enthusiasts we know we don’t really need all the extra range, and will put up with the inconvenience on longer trips, but for everyone else, they exist on a gradient where they need to see long enough ranges in the type of cars they’re looking for. Each increase in range unlocks a new section of that gradient.

The longer range EA1 is really verging on accessing a really large market segment with its size, price and range.

John
18 days ago
Reply to  Marcel

I disagree on needing longer range. I think this car is what most people need. People buying this size car will have enough range for 90 to 95% of the trips, and in those rare occasions they need to go further they can charge quickly. Why buy and carry a batterypack with a capacity (and weight) you don’t need 95% of the time?

Marcel
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Hi John, yes, that logic works for EV enthusiasts and EV friendly buyers, but not so much for the general market.
EV enthusiasts will put up with a 200km EV, the much bigger market of EV friendly people will be fine with a ~350km EV, but the largest market, the one we want to get converted to electrified, people who are sort of EV neutral, need more range than that to convince them to switch.

Maarten has been making the point that in the European market, many car buyers want to be able to do their semi-annual 6-800km trip, at 130kph, going at least 2hrs between stops. The EA1 unfortunately will probably only get 200-220km at that speed in good conditions. 70% (10-80) of that is only 140-150km, so it would have to stop every 60-75 minutes. That’s a no-go for a lot of people. Yes, I would like them to see the logic of not having to buy batteries you’re not going to use, but I don’t think they will.

I would be totally happy with this car, and I think it will appeal to a large segment of the European market (maybe even 30-50%), but I will put up with inconvenience to drive an EV, and I still think we need to have semi-affordable ~500km-550km Wltp EVs before the whole market switches over.

I think Maarten is correct in that range is a market limiting factor, in combination with price. Every time the range gets longer for a given price, the market size increases.

Frederico Matias
18 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

correct… you just have to check the TM3 SR+ with 55kwh and it’s quite pratical in terms of range….pity here in Portugal it still costs 51KEUR…. that is unreachable to any middle-class family here.

It’s like Bjorn put it….the 77kwh Q4etron is so much efficient than the etron55 (with 95kwh) that they have similar ranges…hey i think the Q4 even has higher range….

Marcel
16 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Hi Pedro, yes, I think the sweet spot is in the 50-60kwh range, and there are a lot of people who will be fine with this. 350km Wltp like the EA1 is appealing to a large market segment, much larger than a 250km EV.
I think Maarten’s point is that there is another maybe even larger market of buyers who won’t buy an EV until they can afford one that gets closer to 500km Wltp.
and yes I’m also curious about charging speeds.

Maximilian Holland
18 days ago

Cartoon – Lol!
More great-value Chinese BEVs come to Europe please!

Mike/Liverpool
18 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

When does production start?

Mike/Liverpool
18 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Pedro
The “Hydrogen road show” has begun
Are hydrogen cars about to challenge electric ones? (msn.com)

yoyo
18 days ago

The lower weight of the Dolphin is very nice and much greener than multi TON high performance UN Green BEVs…
It also does not appear to have ridiculously sized UN Green tires which means as stated the initial versions wont have UN Green 0-60 performance…
Since they are exporting the Dolphin to Australia it is probably a given they will export it to the EU and maybe one day the US…
They are also going to export their Yuan Plus to Australia and most likely the EU but it has not been unveiled yet but they did just unveil the more expensive Pro version…
https://cnevpost.com/2021/07/02/byd-launches-3-new-yuan-pro-suv-variants/

https://thedriven.io/2021/05/31/truegreen-says-it-has-three-evs-coming-to-australian-market-under-35000/
“After the EA1 will come the BYD Yuan Plus, the company’s latest take on its all-electric compact SUV, which is sight unseen at the moment but, according to Todd, will leave people “astounded” when unveiled in the near future, considering its price and range.”

Joey. K
17 days ago

Its really good to see that we will get a RHD version early on with Australia in the mix