Chinese electric car specialist BYD plans to launch an alternative to Australia’s best-selling diesel Utes next year with a new battery-powered crew cab.
Electric car specialist from China BYD has outlined plans to introduce an electric double cab to Australian showrooms next year.
The new BYD ute is expected to be similar in size to the best-selling Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger diesel double cabs, and will be among the first electric utes to hit the market in Australia, following the launch of the LDV eT60 late last year.
The managing director of BYD’s local distributor EVDirect, Luke Todd, said drive The new Ute is scheduled to hit Australian showrooms in 2024, subject to any delays.
Few details of the new model have emerged – including name, range, towing and payload ratings, and price.
Only one photo of the BYD Ute is believed to have surfaced, a blurry, low-resolution spy photo showing traditional double-cab proportions, a bold design with flared wheel arches, and a charging port above the left rear wheel.
It’s unclear whether the Ute will be carried by a ladder-frame chassis like Australia’s best-selling diesel double cabs – and the LDV eT60, which is based on the diesel LDV T60 – or a car-derived single-body architecture. shared with family SUVs and hatchbacks in BYD showrooms today.
A car-like design has been adopted by one of BYD ute’s biggest competitors in its home market, the Radar RD6 from Chinese auto giant Geely – the parent company of Volvo, Polestar and Lotus.
However, the spy photo appears to show that the BYD ute’s cabin is separate from the stowage compartment, indicating a robust body-on-frame design.
No mechanical details are available for the BYD-Ute, but it will likely use the company’s “Blade” lithium-iron-phosphate batteries.
Mr. Todd told drive It was too early to comment on potential prices for Australia – and whether the BYD would be cheaper or more expensive than the $92,990 plus road cost of the LDV eT60.
Website of the specialist in Chinese cars ChinaPEV speculates that the price in its home market could be between 400,000 and 600,000 yuan – which, if accurate, would put the car at over $120,000 in Australia.
Unconfirmed reports in China claim the vehicle may be sold under a new brand name – alongside master brand BYD and its luxury division YangWang – but these have yet to be confirmed.
Chinese reports also claim plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the new Ute are in development – but it’s likely only the electric version would come to Australia, as BYD doesn’t sell a hybrid car locally (nor has announced plans) .