China’s BYD started taking reservations for its highly anticipated Seal electric vehicle (EV) last week, and it proved very popular among EV buyers.
In just six hours the automaker secured 22,637 reservations for the electric sedan, which could prove to be a strong Model 3 competitor.
The Seal was available to pre-order in four different configurations – three rear-wheel drive (RWD) variants and a fourth all-wheel drive (AWD) variant.
- Standard range RWD Elite ¥212,800 ($40,100 CAD/$31,900 USD), CLTC 550 km;
- Standard RWD Premium ¥225,800 ($43,400 CAD/$33,900 USD) CLTC 550 km;
- RWD long-range version ¥262,800 ($50,500 CAD/$39,500 USD), CLTC 700 km;
- AWD Performance Edition ¥289,800 ($55,700 CAD/$43,500 USD), CLTC range 650 km.
For comparison, the Model 3 starts at ¥279,900 for the entry-level variant, and ¥367,500 for the Model 3 Performance.
The Seal is the automaker’s first EV to use Cell-to-Body (CTB), their equivalent of Tesla’s structural battery pack. This allows for a larger battery while at the same time increasing the safety of the EV.
While the stats are impressive and the Seal will likely steal some Model 3 buyers, it won’t be in huge numbers. BYD is only planning to build 5,000 units per month, or 60,000 annually. Although given the high level of interest in it, BYD might be looking into way to increase their production capacity.
The company has not yet announced when production or deliveries will begin, but it is expected to happen in the second half of 2022.