BYD wants to take on Hyundai in Korea with its $25,000 Seal EV


BYD is charging up the competition with Hyundai on its home turf. The Chinese automaker plans to launch its Tesla Model 3-rivaling Seal EV in Korea for under $25,000.

After launching the Seal EV in China in 2022, the all-electric sedan is expanding into new markets, including Europe, Australia, and Brazil.

BYD’s Seal is a sporty EV sedan that is 4,800 mm long, 1,875mm wide, and 1,460 mm tall. In terms of size and performance, it’s often compared to Tesla’s Model 3 (4,694 mm long, 1,849 mm wide, 1,442 mm tall).

After launching the new Seal EV Honor Edition in March 2024, the electric sedan starts at $25,000 (179,800) in China with up to 342 mi (550 km) CLTC range.

The Seal EV sells for around $48,500 (45,000 euros) in Europe with up to 354 miles (570 km) WLTP range.

After applying for an emissions and noise certification with the South Korean environment ministry earlier this month, it looks like the Seal has a new target.

BYD SEAL (Source: BYD)

BYD to launch low-cost Seal EV to rival Hyundai

BYD initiated the sales processing in South Korea, which takes about two to three months to review factors like driving range on a single charge.

The BYD Seal is poised to rival Hyundai’s IONIQ 6 and Tesla’s Model 3 with an affordable starting price.

BYD SEAL (Source: BYD)

Meanwhile, performance evaluations for EV subsidies will be handled by Korea Environment Corp. Several analysts believe the electric sedan will be eligible for subsidies when released. However, the use of LFP batteries could prevent this.

BYD is expected to launch other low-cost EVs in Korea, including the Dolphin and Atto 3, two of its best-selling models.

BYD Dolphin (left) and Atto 3 (right) Source: BYD

With BYD entering the market, domestic automakers like Hyundai and Kia, which currently dominate the market, are expected to see a drop in EV market share.

Hyundai and Kia’s share slipped 3.5% to 76.6% last year. The arrival of Tesla’s Model Y vehicles made in China contributed to the growth of foreign automakers.

Kia EV3 GT-line (Source: Kia)

Meanwhile, Hyundai and Kia are launching low-cost EVs themselves. Hyundai is expected to reveal its Casper EV (Inster EV in Europe) later this month, while Kia opened orders for its new EV3, starting at $30,700 (KRW 42.08 million) in Korea earlier this month.

Kia aims to sell 18,000 EV3 models in its home market in the last six months of 2024. Exports are expected to begin to Europe later this year and the US in 2025 (Kia will also reportedly build the EV3 in Mexico for the US market to qualify for the federal tax credit).

Source: Yonhap News

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