BYD has introduced its Dolphin electric car to Japan, betting that the compact hatchback will help spearhead sales in a market still hesitant to embrace Chinese automakers and electric vehicles.
The Dolphin starts from ¥3.63 million ($24,560), BYD Auto Japan said Wednesday at a launch event in Tokyo. The base model has a 70 kilowatt hour battery with 400 kilometers of range. The extended-range model costs ¥4 million, with its 150 kWh battery offering 476 km per charge.
While BYD is China’s biggest carmaker and a front-runner in the industry’s rapid transition to EVs, it has made little headway in Japan, where people prefer domestic powerhouses Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Imported cars, mostly luxury models from the likes of BMW and Volkswagen’s Porsche division, account for just 6% of the market, according to Bloomberg Intelligence senior auto analyst Tatsuo Yoshida.