BYD Targets Europe With Electric & Hybrid Seal U SUV

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Larger Seal Electric Sedan Sibling Offers More Interior Space and Competitive Range.

At the 2024 Geneva Motor Show, BYD unveiled its inaugural plug-in hybrid vehicle for the European market, the BYD Seal U, and provided detailed specifications in anticipation of its forthcoming launch in the UK.

The Seal U, a variant of the Seal electric sedan, stands out with its marginally taller and broader dimensions, already available in China under the name BYD Song. With dimensions of 4775mm in length, 1890mm in width, and 1670mm in height, the SUV is noticeably larger than its sedan counterpart, boasting a spacious boot capacity of 552 litres, surpassing the storage space offered by competitors like the Peugeot 3008 and the Skoda Karoq.

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In its home market, the Seal U comes with two powertrain options: an electric version and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The electric model offers a choice between a 71kWh or 87kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery, delivering a range of 516 to 601 kilometres based on the Chinese CLTC test cycle.

The PHEV variant pairs a 106bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine with an 18.3kWh battery and a 194bhp electric motor, connected through a continuously variable transmission (CVT), to provide an electric-only range of approximately 68 miles or 109 kilometres.

The 18.3kWh battery supports rapid charging from 30% to 80% in roughly 35 minutes and comes equipped with standard vehicle-to-load charging capability.

The Seal U boasts a range of standard features, including 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, vegan leather upholstery, wireless phone charging, an Infinity premium sound system, and a 15.6-inch rotatable infotainment system.

While specific charging capabilities for the Seal U are yet to be disclosed, the Seal sedan, built on the same e-Platform 3.0, can charge its battery at rates up to 150kW, comparable to many contemporary EVs. The electric version of the Seal U offers two motor options, producing 204bhp and 218bhp, along with 229 lb-ft of torque.

BYD confirmed its plans to sell the Seal U in the UK at the Munich Motor Show last year. The SUV is expected to be priced slightly higher than its sedan counterpart, which has a starting price of just over £45,000, reflecting a similar pricing strategy to the relationship between the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. The introduction of the Seal U marks a significant step in BYD’s expansion into the European market, following the launch of the Atto 3 electric crossover and the £25,000 Dolphin electric hatchback.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of PHEVs and EVs, BYD sold 1.8 million such vehicles in 2022 and surpassed 3.0 million sales in 2023.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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