BYD Seal U electric SUV a chance for Australia

BYD Seal U electric SUV a chance for Australia
BYD Seal U electric SUV a chance for Australia

Chinese electric-car maker BYD is targeting the Tesla Model Y with a new electric SUV for Europe and the UK, called the Seal U. Will it come to Australia?

Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer BYD has announced plans to introduce the Seal U in Europe later this year or early next year – as a rival for the world’s best-selling electric car, the Tesla Model Y SUV.

While it will be built in right-hand drive for sale in the UK, it is yet to be locked in for Australian showrooms.

BYD Australia has previously confirmed an intention to add a mid-size SUV to its local line-up next year, to sit above the small Atto 3 – but its identity is yet to be announced, and it is not clear if it is the Seal U or an as-yet-unseen model from BYD in China.

The boss of BYD’s Australian distributor EVDirect, Luke Todd, said the identity of the new SUV will be announced later, when contacted by Drive.

MORE: BYD Sea Lion: Is this BYD’s Tesla Model Y rival for Australia instead?

The Seal U is sold as the BYD Song Plus Champion Edition in China, and – in addition to its name – draws design and technology from the Seal electric sedan due in Australian showrooms later this year as a Tesla Model 3 rival.

The exterior design is reminiscent of its sedan sibling, while the interior is focused around a rotating 15.6-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.

The BYD Seal U shares its underpinnings with the Seal, city-sized Dolphin hatch and compact Atto 3 SUV.

It is powered by a 160kW electric motor matched with a 71kWh or 86kWh battery – both of BYD’s ‘Blade’ design, using lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry – good for a claimed 420km or 500km of driving range respectively.

BYD claims 0-100km/h acceleration can be achieved in 9.3 seconds in the smaller-battery model, or 9.6 seconds with the larger pack.

Rapid charging from 30 to 80 per cent is achieved in a claimed 28 minutes for the 71kWh model, or 29 minutes with the 86kWh battery.

The BYD Seal U is due to make its European debut at the Munich motor show next month.

The post BYD Seal U electric SUV a chance for Australia appeared first on Drive.

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