BYD Announces Entry into Japanese Passenger Car Market

On July 21, BYD JAPAN Co., Ltd., a branch of Chinese new energy vehicle company BYD, held a launch conference in Tokyo wherein it announced its official entry into the Japanese passenger car market. During the event, BYD Japan unveiled three models, the Yuan PLUS, Dolphin and Seal.

BYD is expecting to release its ATTO 3 in January 2023, the Dolphin in mid-2023 and the Seal in the second half of 2023. The Dolphin series are the most competitive and technically advanced model of BYD and is expected to compete with Tesla in the Japanese market.

BYD released the Dolphin series in China on August 29 last year. This model is equipped with the company’s new e-platform 3.0 architecture, and is priced at 93,800 yuan ($13,858) and above aftersubsidy. The Seal was launched in China on July 18 this year, a vehicle that features a zero-to-one-hundred acceleration time of only 3.8 seconds. This model is available in three cruising versions with a maximum cruising range of 700km. With subsidies provided by the Chinese government, the pre-sale price of Seal starts from 212,800 yuan.

BYD is currently teasing the release of these vehicles, providing an image only of the right-hand driving interior design for ATTO 3. This may be because the ATTO 3 is currently on sale in Australia and these are from that edition of the vehicle. While interior design pictures of the Seal and Dolphin still feature left-hand driving models, and it seems clear that there will be right-hand driving versions made available.

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The company has achieved great success in the Japanese electric bus market. On July 13,  Shinsaku Hanada, BYD Japan Executive Vice President, said that Japanese government has made a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Consequently, the local awareness of electric vehicles has increased. BYD Japan expects to sell 4,000 electric buses in Japan around 2028.

It is worth mentioning that BYD currently has a market share of about 70% in Japan’s electric bus market. It is predicted that even if other competitors join, BYD will still maintain a market share of 30% to 40% by 2030.