At the 44th Bangkok International Auto Show, BYD in partnership with Rever Automotive officially introduced the Dolphin electric hatchback in Thailand. The most intriguing aspect is that the Dolphin EV is priced at 799,999 Baht, which is around $23,256 after government subsidies. This is comparable to some of Thailand’s most popular ICE hatchbacks, such as the Toyota Yaris Premium S, which starts at 694,000 Baht ($20,178).
The Dolphin is priced virtually identically to the ICE Honda City RS, which starts at 749,000 Baht (about $21,777). Plus it is even less expensive than the Honda City plug-in hybrid, which starts at 849,000 Baht ($24,684). According to analysts, the availability of a high-quality EV that is priced in the same proximity as well-known, popular ICE vehicles will significantly accelerate the adoption of EVs in Thailand.
With a 180 Nm electric motor and a 44.9 kWh Blade Battery, the Dolphin being sold in the Thai market offers a 410 km NEDC range. It features vehicle-to-load capabilities, AC charging up to 7 kW, and DC charging up to 60 kW.
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All of this demonstrates how far things have come in the last ten or so years. In Thailand, a car with a 44.9 kWh battery can now be purchased for about $23,000. To put that into perspective, the first-generation Nissan Leaf featured a 24 kWh battery and was priced above $36,000 in most markets when it was introduced. The most recent iteration of the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf is a further useful illustration. Although it is a larger vehicle than the Dolphin, it has a marginally smaller battery and costs 1,990,000 Baht, or roughly $57,834!, in Thailand. The new BYD Dolphin will make it very much affordable for the auto consumers of Thailand to own an electric vehicle with a generous 40kWh battery.
The Dolphin will join the ATTO 3, which was already introduced in Thailand and has more than 10,000 satisfied buyers there. BYD began building a factory in Thailand earlier this month that would produce 150,000 electric vehicles annually. The factory in Thailand will increase supply to ASEAN markets while also acting as a hub for exports of these reasonably priced EVs to other right-hand-drive countries. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore are all members of ASEAN.
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BYD Dolphin EV measures 4,070/1,770/1,570 mm with a 2,700mm wheelbase while allowing customers to choose from either 16 or 17-inch wheels. While the 2,700 mm wheelbase is exactly the same as we have here with the 11th gen Corolla, the dimensions make the Dolphin marginally shorter than the Peugeot 2008, bear in mind the French crossover has a 2,605 mm wheelbase.
The vehicle comes equipped with LED headlights, powered & electrically folding side mirrors, a large sunroof, a 12.8-inch central touchscreen, a 5-inch driver information display, Bluetooth, keyless entry, one-button start, Apple CarPlay Smartphone connectivity, 6 airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, 360-degree camera, and many other features.
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It’s fantastic that the Dolphin is now available in Thailand at a pricing that is extremely competitive with some of the most popular ICE vehicles from major brands in the compact hatchback segment, such as Honda and Toyota. We’ve been waiting for something like this to happen: more EV cars competing alongside more ICE models in their respective segments. It appears to be happening in more countries now. When the MG4 hatchback was launched in the UK last year, it was priced in line with the entry-level ICE version of the Volkswagen Golf.
With EV prices coming within the territory of ICE cars, it’s likely that more & more auto consumers will shift their focus toward electric vehicles due to a number of advantages over ICE-powered cars.
BYD Dolphin EV in Thailand
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com