The compact all-electric (EV) BYD Dolphin hatchback will arrive in the UK towards the end of the year, offering a competitive battery range at an affordable price.
Set to challenge small mainstream EVs from the likes of Peugeot, Kia and Honda, the BYD Dolphin will launch in Europe at the end of 2023 with the aim of “making high-tech electric mobility accessible to more consumers”. It will be the second model from Chinese marque BYD to arrive in Britain, after the Atto 3 SUV.
Three different powertrain setups will be available, depending on the trim chosen. The range begins with the entry-level 50kWh battery and 70kW electric motor pairing, which will be offered with the car’s cheapest ‘Active’ trim. This configuration can muster 95hp and up to 211 miles of battery range on a single charge. Max speed tops out at 93mph.
The ‘Boost’ grade uses the same battery, but a more powerful 130kW electric motor. This combo offers less battery range – 188 miles to be exact – but it is quicker off the line, with an ouput of 176hp.
The top-spec 60kWh battery version is mated to a 204hp 150kW electric motor, and is offered with the range-topping ‘Comfort’ and ‘Design’ grades. This model can reportedly handle up to 265 miles on a full battery, and can complete a 0-62mph sprint in seven seconds flat. Top speed for these models is limited at 100mph.
The ‘Active’ and ‘Boost’ are compatible with 7kW AC and 60 kW DC chargers, while the ‘Comfort’ and ‘Design’ can charge at speeds of up to 11 kW AC and 88 kW DC.
Stepping inside, the Dolphin comes with a floating 12-inch central infotainment screen as standard, and range-topping models also come with a panoramic roof, rear privacy glass and wireless smartphone charging. The boot can hold up to 345 litres of luggage which extends to 1,310 litres with the rear seats folded.
While it doesn’t quite match the interior quality of the larger Atto 3, BYD has aimed to give the Dolphin an upmarket cabin finish, with ergonomic sports seats trimmed in vegan leather, and unique design touches like the “dolphin-shaped” door handles.
The car’s standard safety equipment list is extensive too, including a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance, but the key attraction for many customers looking to make the all-electric switch is likely to be the hatchback’s price tag.
UK pricing for the BYD Dolphin starts at under £26k, rising to just under £31k for the top-spec model before options. This means that the hatchback is set to become one of the cheapest EVs on the British market.
By comparison, an entry-level version of the smaller Peugeot e-208 currently costs over £31k, while pricing for the Volkswagen ID.3 starts at £37k.
BYD is yet to confirm the Dolphin’s exact arrival date, but says that the hatchback will go on sale in Europe towards the end of the year. More details, including the full specifications list, are sure to be announced in the coming months.