BYD Challenges Tesla Across The Border

Buy a Chinese EV Sedan in the U.S.?

The BYD Seal, a noteworthy contender to the Tesla Model 3, has been unveiled in North America as reported by CarNewsChina. However, it’s not sure yet if the electric car will eventually be able to reach America’s shores, so don’t get your hopes up excessively.

When visiting Mexico, you can observe the Chinese electric vehicle in person and view it’s cost label.

The Seal, the fifth electric vehicle to be offered in Mexico by BYD, follows up on the Han sedan, Tang SUV, Yuan Plus crossover and Dolphin hatchback. This car starts off its pricing range with the rear-wheel drive basic model costing 778,800 pesos or around $44,800.

This involves a 150-kilowatt (201 Horsepower) motor situated at the backpart and a 61.44-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate Blade cell pack granting a WLTP-assessed scope of 285 miles (460 kilometers).

In addition to this, there is also an all-wheel drive variant that comes with two electric motors that collectively make as much as 390 kW (529 HP). And it also has a bigger 82.56 kWh LFP Blade battery, which provides a WLTP range of 323 miles (520 km). This AWD option will cost 888,800 pesos, which is roughly equivalent to $52,000.

In the U.S., the Tesla Model 3 is more budget-friendly, having a beginning price of $38,990; however, in Mexico, this American electric vehicle is actually costlier than its imported Chinese analogous model, starting at 881,900 pesos, about $50,500 overall.

It is noteworthy that, for the time being, BYD does not offer its passenger vehicles for sale in America; yet it has ([they have]) plans to do so in the near future by potentially [establishing] a production facility in Mexico. Despite this, the Chinese maker maintains a presence in the United States, assembling chiefly school buses for usage at its plant in Lancaster, California–but mainly for electric buses.

The idea of Chinese automobiles has become a hot subject of discussion in the U.S. As a result of on-going geopolitical and trade frictions, Chinese automobile makers are currently facing a 27.5% import tax, which even affects established brands like Volvo. This particular matter is obstructing companies such as BYD from selling their vehicles in America for the time being. Although it is unlikely for the tariff to be eliminated shortly, BYD and other major Chinese automakers still maintain ambitious worldwide ambitions. In principle, it would be feasible for them to sell abroad without tariffs if they build factories in Mexico.

One wonders if U.S. purchasers would opt for a BYD Seal more than a Tesla Model 3? Could it be that we’ll come to know the answer in the not-so-distant future?

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