BYD is set to make some waves in the Malaysian EV segment, but it looks like they have bigger plans come 2023 with two more EV models - the Dolphin and Seal.
The BYD Atto 3 compact SUV and BYD e6 crossover/compact MPV will apparently break into the Malaysian market in December 2022 with an estimated pricing between RM150k to RM170k. That's already a pretty cool price range, but these 'marine-inspired' models which are based on the new BYD e-platform 3.0 might just turn the tide in the market of affordable electric cars.
The BYD Dolphin, in particular, has the potential to break the RM100,000 EV pricing barrier with plans from Sime Darby Motors to bring it into Malaysia within the second half of 2023. If that's somewhat true, this B-segment EV hatchback might just persuade more folks to jump onto the EV bandwagon.
BYD Dolphin aka "EA1" aka "Atto 2"
Looking at the BYD Dolphin, we feel like it has the potential to become a great EV success story if the price is right. Just like how Perodua stormed the block with the first Perodua Myvi in 2005, this five-door compact hatchback has the recipe to dominate the overall EV market in Malaysia, provided that it comes with a super-competitive price tag.
With the BYD Atto 3 expected to be somewhere between RM150,000 to RM170,000, the BYD Dolphin's entry-level specs should place it much closer to the RM100,000 mark or even under it. To put things into perspective, the Atto 3 has 210hp and 310Nm of torque with an NEDC range between 410km to 480km depending on the battery size.
The Dolphin? 174hp and 290Nm for the top version (or 94hp and 180Nm for the base model) with a range between 301km to 405km (NEDC). The overall dimensions of the Dolphin closely fit the B-segment hatch here in the country, apart from its slightly taller figure and longer wheelbase. Top speed? Between 150-160km/h, depending on the variant.
174hp electric motor + 400km range?
When it comes to power figures, the BYD Dolphin is fitted with a single electric motor that is said to produce 174hp and 290Nm of torque. Paired with a 44.9kWh Blade EV battery pack from BYD themselves, the Dolphin also has an NEDC range of just over 400km. In other words, more than enough to tackle your daily journeys.
When connected to a 7kW AC charger, getting the top-spec BYD Dolphin fully juiced up requires a sensible time of around six and a half hours. If you're connected to a 60kW DC fast charger, 30 minutes can get it up from 30% to 80%. Again, great numbers for your day-to-day driving scenario.
Judging by the price differences between the Atto 3 and Dolphin in China, there's a possibility that we might just be able to get an entry-level EV under the RM100,000 mark. If this is not possible come 2023, there's also another Dolphin variant with slightly lower specs of 94hp and 180Nm with smaller battery packs of 30.7kWh. NEDC range? Around 301km.
For now, most folks are looking at the RM150,000 range for a decently priced EV, but if the goal is to get the majority to convert from ICE to electric, that RM100,000 ballpark will surely put it into hyperdrive. And the first one to do so has the potential to strike a massive gold mine.