BYD as we all know is a global electric car behemoth. They sold over 1.8 million electric cars and Plug In hybrids in 2022. What Hyundai sells in a year, these guys sell in a month and even more. So PluginIndia and the EV community is very excited to see BYD getting serious about the Indian EV market. And I was very excited to see BYD at the Auto Expo.
For those who don’t know, BYD only sells electric cars. ICE pollution cars are history for them. What do we know about BYD India electric car operations so far?
We know that BYD already has showrooms in 24 cities, they have sold more than 700 units of the BYD e6 MPV - this guy (point to car) and have 2000+ bookings of the BYD Atto3 Globally they have sold more than 2 lakh Atto3’s in 2022 - Way more than Hyundai Ioniq5. They showcased a limited edition of the BYD Atto3 with a forest green color. I liked the color.
I don't understand these car companies, why not launch more bright colors? Why the formality? Tata Motors - I’m looking at you too!
If you remember Abhishek attended the India launch event in October last year. I will link that video in the description, if you want to know our thoughts from that event and also a demo of the BLADE Battery nail penetration test!
At the Auto Expo, BYD also unveiled the BYD Seal Electric Sedan. Like the Atto3, The BYD Seal is built on the e-Platform 3.0, the 800-volt car platform - so ultra fast charging will be totally possible. For example, you can take your BYD Seal to Hyundai and KIA 150 kW chargers and enjoy 15 min 10% to 80% charging speeds!
The Seal's claimed range of 700 km which is incredible. What i liked about the BYD showcase compared to Hyundai is the India head spoke about some technical innovations in the SEAL - Apparently the Seal passes the moose test at 83 kmph speed. The moose test is performed to determine how well a certain vehicle evades a suddenly appearing obstacle. BYD says they achieve high torsional stiffness because of the cell to body integration where the blade battery is integrated into the vehicle body - this improves the Seal’s safety, stability, handling and performance.
Now i don’t know if that is Marketing Mumbo Jumbo or is it real - You guys tell me if it is! But what we do love about the Seal is the 0.219 CD aerodynamic design which will give some incredible efficiency numbers. They are launching the Seal in October. There was no information on the price, so let's wait and watch.
All in all the Seal is a sexy electric car with the safe BLADE battery packs and substance of BYD.
There is the giant complex drivetrain system that looked like a friggin of a pollution car Engine! I asked the BYD person about that and he proudly said (Accent) - ‘This is a world’s first 8-1 high efficiency electric powertrain’ - Where they have integrated the motor, motor controller, reducer, onboard charger, DC converter, high voltage distribution box, vehicle controller and the BMS.
All of this is integrated in one Giant monolithic BOX. I can understand why BYD did this.
Less wires and connections between each component can lead to efficiency gains. And BYD does claim 89% drivetrain efficiency.
But my concern is repairability. If I buy the BYD Atto3 and after the 3rd year warranty the onboard charger conks off and it stops charging, I’m 100% sure all these swanky BYD India showrooms won't have the ability to perform repairs.
Will they ask me to purchase the entire 8-in-1 drivetrain system? And how many lakhs do i have to shell out for its replacement. Electronic parts can fail anytime. We have seen this with our ownership of the e2o, where Mahindra used to charge Rs 50,000 for a new onboard charger.
BYD needs to answer this and we tried asking some people at the auto Expo and they were clueless.
As a customer, you should think about this. But if you are willing to pay 34 lakhs for the Atto3 or 30 Lakhs for the BYD e6, why would you think about repairs.
But for me repairability is very important and is more environmentally friendly than replacing components. If anyone from BYD India is watching, please talk about this too.
The disappointing part of BYD’s show today was the lack of talk on investments in manufacturing EV’s in India. When are they making investments in manufacturing these electronic components in India? Will they make the BYD blade cells in India? There was no talk about that. We can safely assume in 2023, all the BYD cars will continue to be imported from China.
The most disappointing aspect for me personally was that BYD India does not have plans to get the Dolphin hatchback in 2023. The Dolphin is sold at around 11 lakhs in China and it would have been the ideal car for India. It sucks that BYD only wants to target the premium segment in India in 2023
BYD India wants to sell 15,000 units Atto3 and the e6 in 2023. That seems to be an ambitious target.I doubt they will hit it, at price points of > than 30 lakhs.
Will they hit that number? You guys tell me.
So what do you guys think about the BYD India strategy?
Are you excited for the SEAL and the ATTO3? Are you disappointed that BYD still wants to CKD their electric cars? Do write your comments below.