BYD launches Tesla Model 3 rival Seal electric sedan in North America

China’s largest automaker, BYD, is raising the stakes into the end of the year as it closes in on Tesla in global EV sales. BYD introduced the Seal electric sedan in North America as a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3.

BYD launches Seal EV in North America as Tesla rival

BYD revealed the Seal landed in Mexico last week as it expands the brand in the region. The Seal is the second EV under BYD’s Ocean series to launch in Mexico, following the Dolphin in Sept.

It will be the fifth BYD EV in the region, joining the Dolphin, Han sedan, Tang SUV, and Yuan Plus launched in June. The electric sedan is offered in two versions: RWD or four-wheel drive.

The RWD variant will start at 778,800 pesos ($44,600), while the four-wheel-drive will cost 888,800 pesos ($51,000).

BYD’s Seal RWD is powered by a 150 kW rear motor and 61.44 kWh LFP Blade battery, offering up to 460 km (286 miles) WLTP range. The AWD version has 390 kW power combined with an 82.56 kWh LFP Blade battery for 520 km (323 miles) of WLTP range.

BYD Seal test drive in Mexico (Source: BYD)

In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 starts at 881,900 pesos ($50,500) with 638 km (396 miles) of WLTP range. The AWD version starts at 985,900 pesos ($56,500), while the Performance version costs 1,154,900 pesos ($66,100).

The news comes as BYD closes in on Tesla in global EV sales. BYD topped Nissan for the first time last month, with over 170,000 fully electric vehicles sold.


Although Tesla doesn’t report monthly sales, the EV leader delivered 435,059 EVs in the third quarter. BYD sold 431,603, coming within 3,500 deliveries of surpassing Tesla as the top-selling EV maker globally.

BYD has sold 335,655 EVs over the past two months, leading up to a strong end-of-year run. The company introduced new promotions this month in an effort to close out the year strong.

BYD Song L (Source: BYD)

Electrek’s Take

BYD’s overseas sales continue growing. The EV maker is already a leader in key markets like Thailand, Brazil, and Columbia.

In addition to Mexico, BYD is expanding in Australia, India, Hungary, and several other international markets. The company has sold nearly 1.4 million EVs so far through November. Another 170,000 would mean around 1.57 million EV sales. Tesla says it’s on track for 1.8 million.

BYD also launched two new electric SUVs recently, the Sea Lion 07 and Song L (pictured above), poised to rival Tesla’s Model Y. The company said its Song L had over 11,000 pre-orders in 17 days as demand builds.

Although the global EV leader race is fun to watch, it’s even better knowing they are both stealing share from gas-powered vehicles.

Mexico could serve as a key region for Chinese EV makers to set up production in North America. It could also be a gateway to bring EVs into the US, according to analysts.

BYD is likely the only Chinese EV maker that builds and sells vehicles in the US. The company operates a 550,000-square-foot electric bus factory in Lancaster, California.

Source: CarNewsChina, BYD

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