China's BYD launches 3 electric car models in Japan

BYD enters Japanese EV market with three models: Atto 3, Dolphin & Seal

Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway-backed company, BYD has now entered the Japanese EV market. BYD is a Chinese EV maker, which continues to expand globally. The three models launched by the EV maker are Atto 3, Dolphin, and Seal. They will be starting from the year 2023.

China's BYD launches 3 electric car models in Japan
Image credits- Nikkei Asia

Sales of the BYD Atto 3 are to begin by January 2023. The second model to be the BYD Dolphin, scheduled for mid-2023, and the third will be the all-new BYD Seal, scheduled for the second half of 2023. All three electric cars are based on BYD’s e-platform 3.0 and powered by BYD Blade Battery (LFP chemistry and cell-to-pack system). In the case of the Seal, the battery is structural – CTB (cell-to-body).

According to BYD, “these three EVs bring more choices and further enhance the local electric passenger vehicle market”. Well, it will be interesting to see the response from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and other Japanese manufacturers, which in recent years must compete with more and more foreign BEVs on their own soil. BYD is not entirely new in Japan, as the company was already selling various products, including rechargeable batteries (since 1999), solar energy products, pure electric buses, pure electric forklifts, and more. Passenger electric cars are just another chapter of the ongoing expansion.

Entering Japanese market

Chairman and President of BYD said, “As one of the first enterprises to develop electric vehicles in the world, BYD has accumulated 27 years of expertise and experience in the field of new energy vehicles, and has mastered the advanced technologies spanning batteries, electric motors, electronic control systems, and automotive-grade chips. Today, with the support and expectation of consumers, BYD officially hits the new energy passenger vehicle market in Japan. Through the joint efforts of BYD and the local NEV market, we are dedicated to leading the way in e-mobility for a better life.”

Making a note of how relatively narrow the domestic BEV offer in Japan currently is, BYD has a big chance to secure a bridgehead. Now, the company is present in 70 countries (over 400 cities) on six continents, but its plug-in electric car sales are focused in China. Meanwhile, domestic automakers have been attempting to catch up, with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jointly releasing a new EV in June. Toyota has also implemented a flat-rate subscription service for its new EVs. BYD ranked second in global EV market share between January and June, selling around 320,000 vehicles. It gained a foothold in Japan through electric buses, making up around 70% of the domestic demand.