New details of the upcoming BYD electric hatchback – which importer Nexport claims will be sold in Australia for “well under $35,000” when order books open later this year – have been revealed exclusively to CarAdvice.
The Chinese-built five-door – which was unveiled as the EA1 in China last week, but will be sold locally under a different nameplate – has a range of approximately 500km, according to Nexport founder Luke Todd.
For reference, the MG ZS EV, which is currently the cheapest electric car offered in Australia from $43,990 drive-away, has a claimed range of just 263km.
Meanwhile, the 0-100km/h sprint will reportedly take “less than 5.0 seconds” in entry-level guise – comparable acceleration to the launch control-equipped Volkswagen Golf R hot hatch.
A more expensive high-performance variant will be even quicker again, but still fall well short of the 2.9 seconds incorrectly quoted by other media outlets.
“Our range of six cars will completely change the automotive landscape in Australia, and we expect to be a top-five manufacturer within 24 months,” Mr Todd told CarAdvice.
“There has been a lot of discussion about the government’s role in electric vehicle take-up, but our view is that electric cars need to be able to compete with internal combustion cars on price – we believe we are the manufacturer to make that happen,” Mr Todd added.
Assuming the aforementioned performance figures are accurate – and the car is sold for under $35,000 with a reasonable warranty – the BYD hatchback could well be a complete game changer for the local market.
However, CarAdvice is yet to test drive the vehicle, or verify the somewhat-radical claims made by its local importer.
Order books are slated to open on 1 July 2021, with the first customer deliveries promised during the first quarter of next year (January to March inclusive).
Further pricing and specification details for the Australian market are expected over the coming week. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates.