This new affordable electric car will give Dacia Spring a cold sweat

Chinese manufacturer BYD, present in France for several weeks, has announced the launch of its new Dolphin in China. Shown from 116,800 yuan, or about 15,700 euros, it may come to Europe later under the name Atto 2. And it will make some of its rivals tremble.

If you’re new to BYD, get ready to hear a lot about it over the next few years. Because the Chinese brand, founded in 1995, is gradually starting to invade Europe. It was notably one of the stars of the Paris Motor Show last October and begins its marketing in the Old Continent in France, specifically the Tang, Atto 3 and Han, which are two SUVs and a sedan. A new rival for MG but also for other historical brands, while a new model could land on the continent.

Dacia Biter

This is the Dolphin, an electric compact that there are lucky ones who have seen it. In fact, it was also on the brand’s stand during the great car mass in Paris, but only on the last day. A surprise appearance for one already officially announced in 2021 in Chinafirst as a concept and then as a production model a few months later.

More than a year later, it’s finally time for the brand’s most affordable model to finally start its marketing, while BYD has just opened orders. And the compact shows an unbeatable price! As for the brand specifications, it actually starts at 116,800 yuan, or approximately 15,749 euros according to the current exchange rate. A very low price which will allow it to compete directly with the Dacia Spring, whose price increased a few months ago to reach 20,800 euros, the ecological bonus of 5,616 euros not deducted.

For the time allotted for China, the BYD Dolphin may arrive in Europe, possibly as Atto 2. An appellation chosen for Australia, where it will also be sold. You should probably expect a slightly higher price in Europe, perhaps around 25,000 euros, due to taxes and transport costs. These may no longer be a concern, as the brand plans to build one or two factories in the Old Continent in the next few years.

As detailed on the Chinese site This Housethe electric compact is equipped witha rotatable 12.8-inch touchscreen, as in other models in the range. It is associated with a small digital handset. Passengers can enjoya wheelbase of 2.70 meterswhile the front seats are heated.

If the technological endowment seems basic due to its very low price, the Dolphine is still equipped with the DiPilot level 2 autonomous driving system developed by the brand. Its turning radius of 10.5 meters should facilitate maneuvers in town.

Some variations

Based on the BYD e-Platform 3.0 platform, this new Dolphin / Atto 2 is available in two power levels, namely 70 and 130 kW, that is, the equivalent of 95 and 176 horsepower for a torque of 180 and 190 Nm. 0 to 50 km/h is achieved in 3.0 to 3.9 seconds. Only one battery is offered, the Blade LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) developed by the brand and shows a capacity of 44.9 kWh. Offering better capacity and lower fire risk, it allows the newcomer to the range to demonstrate a range between 401 and 420 kilometers according to China’s CLTC cycle.

It is then necessary to remove between 10 and 15% to obtain the WLTP value, which then corresponds to the values ​​ofabout 350 km. If the charging power has not been specified, the battery will be charged from 30 to 80% in 30 minutes. By comparison, the Dacia Spring has an accumulator of 26.8 kWh gross and can travel up to 230 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, for a power of 44 horsepower.

So far, the exact launch date has not been announced by the brand, but the information on the site Weibo stir the year 2023. However, it will still be necessary to wait before seeing the BYD Dolphin arrive in the Old Continent, while the brand is just taking the first steps there. The company competes with Nio and Xpeng, which also came to us, then concerns specialists. In fact, according to a study by Jato Dynamics, at least 18% of the electric models sold here are Chinese brands.

An alarming situation, while the government wants to act by reserving an ecological bonus for cars made in Europe. It is remarkable why BYD wants to set up production sites here, as Tesla did with its Gigafactory in Berlin, when the company is also at risk of losing aid. But for now, only the Model Y is assembled on the Continent, the Model 3 too made in China, as well as in the USA.

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