Categories: Green-ITInnovation

BYD Targets Tesla With Premium ‘Sea Lion’ EV

China’s BYD, the world’s biggest electric carmaker, has launched a new premium brand called Sea Lion along with the Sea Lion 07 sport-utility vehicle that competes directly with Tesla vehicles such as the Model Y.

BYD surpassed Tesla as the biggest EV maker last year, but most of its cars are low-cost models aimed at lower- and middle-income buyers in mainland China.

The company has also begun competing in Europe with vehicles including the entry-level Dolphin, launched in the UK this year with a price tag of £25,490.

In China BYD offers EVs such as the small Seagull hatchback, which uses a cheaper-to-produce sodium-ion battery and began selling domestically this year with a starting price of 73,800 yuan (£8,200).

BYD’s Sea Lion 07. Image credit: BYD

Sea Lion 07 SUV

Most of BYD’s EVs are priced in a similar range, from 100,000 yuan to 150,000 yuan.

The Sea Lion brand, by contrast, targets the same higher-end market segment as Tesla.

The Sea Lion 07, a full-electric SUV introduced at the Guangzhou Auto Show that began on Friday, is to be priced between 200,000 yuan (£22,400) and 260,000 yuan, comparable to Tesla’s Model Y, which starts at 266,400 yuan.

Tesla manufactures the Model Y at its factory in Shanghai, which began operations in late 2020 and is the firm’s single biggest plant worldwide.

Industry analysts noted that while BYD and Tesla have not competed head-on until now, BYD has a significant production cost advantage over Tesla.

The Zeekr 007. Image credit: Zeekr

Cost advantage

A report from investment bank UBS found the cost of building a BYD Seal EV is 15 percent lower than the comparable Tesla Model 3.

BYD in April introduced a luxury vehicle called the U8 that is priced at 1.1 million yuan and invited comparisons to a Range Rover.

At the Guangzhou show Li Auto, another potential Tesla rival, introduced its first pure-electric model, the seven-seat MEGA MPV, which secured 10,000 pre-orders within two hours of its release.

Geely launched the Zeekr 007 electric sedan from its premium Zeekr brand, while Xpeng introduced its first pure electric multi-purpose vehicle, the X9 MPV.

Xpeng recently signed a partnership to develop two VW-branded EVs for the German automaker.

Xpeng’s X9 MPV. Image credit: Xpeng
Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

EU Adopts Law To Spur Green Tech Manufacturing

EU formally adopts Net-Zero Industry Act that seeks to boost EU green-tech manufacturing against rivals…

7 hours ago

AWS In Talks To Invest Billions In Italy Amidst AI Cloud Surge

Amazon Web Services in talks with Italian government to invest billions of euros in country,…

7 hours ago

Musk’s xAI ‘To Build Nvidia Supercomputer’

Elon Musk reportedly tells investors in start-up xAI company wants to build massive Nvidia-powered supercomputer…

8 hours ago

Proxy Advisory Firm Advises Against Musk Tesla Pay Deal

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis advises shareholders to vote against record-breaking Musk pay package at…

8 hours ago

China Premier Welcomes Foreign Tech Investment

In meeting with Samsung chair Chinese Premier Li Qiang welcomes further investment from foreign firms,…

9 hours ago

US Extends Probe Into Applied Materials Over Alleged China Shipments

Chip equipment maker Applied Materials receives new subpoena in ongoing probe into alleged sanctions-breaking shipments…

9 hours ago