The BYD Seagull looks a lot like the venerable Chevy Bolt EV, but comes in at a literal fraction of the price… but with a fraction of the specs as well. As BYD expects to pass Tesla in Global EV sales this year by expanding its markets with significantly lower-priced vehicles, will we start seeing these hyper-cheap products outside of BYD’s home market of China?
For those of you looking for a Chevy Bolt except for a third of the cost and what turns out to be a third the power and less than half the battery pack, the BYD Seagull might be good for you… so long as you are in China or soon-to-be export market. Here are the important specs:
- Dimensions: 3780/1715/1540mm with a wheelbase of 2500 mm
- Battery: LFP (made by FinDreams) ~30kWh
- Motor: 55 kW (75 hp)
- Price: 60,000 – 100,000 RMB ($8,860 – $14,770 USD)
- Release scheduled for April 2023
Compare this to the Chevy Bolt EV which has a 150kW (200hp) motor, 65kWh of battery, and a very low for the US base price of $26,000 (find one nearby here). Dimensions in mm are: 4145/1765/1611 with a 2600mm wheelbase, making the Bolt slightly bigger all around, but particularly in length.
We’re seeing the first uncovered looks of the 5-door, 4-person BYD Seagull vehicle floating around Chinese social media this week as well as the Chinese Ministry of Technology. CarnewsChina gathered a few of the images:
Does it look like a Chevy Bolt EV? That’s obviously subjective, but here’s a white 2019 Bolt for comparison:
Maybe “knockoff” is too strong a word?
Top comment by EhCanadian
If the BYD Seagull's styling is a "knock off" of the Chevy Bolt, then the Bolt's styling is a "knock off" of the Opel Astra, and so on. Mazda and Nissan have also produced models with similar styling details on C-pillar.
A report last month said the BYD Seagull might reach its low price point by using sodium batteries, which can be charged to 80% in 15 minutes. Another report said there also will be a “performance” Seagull with a 44.9-kWh battery and an electric motor of 130 kW (177 hp). That’s about halfway to Bolt specs.
It isn’t just the exterior that bares a passing resemblance to the Bolt. A look at the interior via Weibo shows what appears to be a passing resemblance.
We might joke about an EV starting in the $8000 price point, but if EVs are going to take over the world, these are the price points carmakers are going to have to hit. European and US carmakers might not be interested in these lower cost markets, but if were to remove CO2 from the air, everyone has to be on board.
As for the Seagull, I think this car looks suspiciously like the Chevy Bolt EV, but it doesn’t play in the same markets or price points, so we’ll give it a pass. I don’t know if a 75 horsepower car would even be applicable to US roads, but it could be quite popular elsewhere. We’ll have to see. Expect to hear more by April when the Seagull hits the streets.
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