China’s leading EV maker, BYD, revealed its first mid-size urban electric SUV on Friday. BYD’s new Sea Lion 07 is poised to narrow the gap with Tesla as the brand takes on a new segment.
BYD unveiled the Sea Lion 07 EV at the 2023 Guangzhou International Auto Show as it continues its dominant expansion.
The company teased the new electric SUV’s design last week leading up to the release. Led by ex-Audi and Lamborghini chief designer Wolfgang Egger, the Sea Lion 07 almost resembles a combination of the two.
BYD says the new EV draws inspiration from sea lions jumping into the water to create a distinctive five-spoke design.
Egger is now the head designer at BYD as the brand expands in the electric era. The Sea Lion 07 is part of BYD’s Ocean series, following the Dolphin hatchback and Seal sedan.
BYD says its first mid-size electric SUV unlocks the “new” style of the Ocean series. It will kick off a new sub-brand of EVs.
Based on the e-platform 3.0, the Sea Lion features BYD’s 8-in-1 electric powertrain. BYD claims the tech improves range, safety, and driving in low temperatures.
BYD unveils first mid-size EV SUV, closing gap with Tesla
At 4,830 mm long, 1,925 mm wide, and 1,620 mm tall, the Sea Lion will rival Tesla’s Model Y (L – 4,760 mm, W – 1,921 mm, H – 1,624 mm).
BYD’s first mid-size electric SUV will cost between 200,000 – 260,000 yuan ($27,700 – $35,900). It’s poised to compete with Model Y, which runs between 266,000 – 363,900 yuan ($36,900 – $50,500).
BYD continued its impressive run after selling over 165,500 fully electric vehicles in October. The leading Chinese EV maker has sold over 1.2 million EVs this year.
Tesla, the current market leader, delivered 435,059 vehicles in the third quarter and aims to hit 1.8 million this year. BYD came within 3,500 of surpassing Tesla in Q3 after delivering 431,603 EVs.
BYD hopes its first mid-size electric SUV can narrow the gap further as it looks to steal the crown from Tesla.
The fourth quarter is shaping up to be an exciting one as EV leaders Tesla and BYD continue their aggressive expansions.
Meanwhile, with both cutting prices drastically this year, rivals are struggling to keep pace. Several automakers have delayed EV goals, including Ford, GM, and VW.
BYD’s beginnings as a battery maker and Tesla’s early ambitions are paying off while others are being squeezed out of the market. Despite lowering prices, BYD scored a record $1.42 billion in Q3 profits. With a new mid-size electric SUV, BYD will likely make it even harder.
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