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BYD confirms three more models for Australia in the next 12 months


It’s just the beginning for EV carmaker BYD, who is planning to bring even more cars to the Australian new car market

BYD has today confirmed that it will have a big year ahead, with the Chinese carmaker planning on bringing three more models to local shores over the next 12 months. 

The first of the trio is the electric BYD Seal, a clear competitor for Tesla’s Model 3, which is expected to launch in Australia in August this year. 

The second model, due early to mid 2024, will be a ute “designed and engineered for Australian conditions”, and will come before a “larger SUV” that remains unnamed. 

2023 BYD ute prototype front 3/4 static
The BYD ute is coming, but we don’t know yet if it will be electric or hybrid!

EV Direct’s (BYD’s distributor in Australia) chief executive officer Luke Todd said regarding the ute: “We’ve been able to bring the project forward six months, such is the interest in the BYD brand since we’ve launched in Australia. 

“We’ve currently got an Australian-based engineering team heading to China to make [the ute] Australian ready.”

When asked about the smaller and likely even cheaper BYD Seagull, Todd said that “we’ve got five models in Australia by the end of 2024, but the Seagull is not one of those five … there’s no plans to bring it to Australia at this moment”. 

2023 BYD Seagull side profile static green
BYD Seagull seems out of consideration for Australia

Hybrid ute, or fully electric?

EV Direct’s Luke Todd told Chasing Cars that the brand was leaning more towards a first petrol-electric hybrid platform rather than a fully electric format for its first ute in Australia. 

“This is an electric platform vehicle that has a very powerful petrol motor to support it.

2023 BYD ute prototype rear 3/4
We’ve already see a sneak peak of the BYD ute

“[This platform] we feel for the ute will be the most suitable product, in that you’d be able to get somewhere in the range of 800 kilometres with a very small supplemented petrol engine.

“It’s advanced technology, it’s not been seen in Australia before,” Todd continued. 

Although pricing is still a long way off for the BYD ute, Luke Todd says that if you “look at our history, we’ve demonstrated to bring high-quality vehicles at an extremely competitive cost price”. 

Could we see an electrified ute far cheaper than something like the LDV eT60? It’s certainly possible.