China’s BYD readying plug-in hybrid, electric ute range
BYD‘s upcoming electrified pickup has been spied once again ahead of its previously confirmed Australian launch in 2024.
The spy photos, published by Car News China, show a boxy camouflaged prototype that’s extremely similar to the one seen in November last year.
What’s different though is we got a glimpse of what the interior looks like. The main highlights include a digital instrument cluster and a large central touchscreen infotainment system.
In China this BYD ute will reportedly be available with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric powertrains. It’ll also reportedly come with rear- or all-wheel drive.
If you look closely at the image of the ute’s dashboard there’s a warning for the engine, which indicates the prototype is a PHEV variant.
BYD in Australia has been purely EV-only to date and recently ruled out introducing the Frigate 07 PHEV SUV locally.
This yet-unnamed BYD electric ute will compete against the likes of the LDV eT60, plus the incoming JAC T9 EV and (potentially) the Radar RD6 locally in 2024.
Luke Todd, managing director of BYD distributor EVDirect, told CarExpert in December 2022 this electric pickup has been “designed around Australian conditions”, with both Chinese and Australian engineers working on the project.
Mr Todd described the BYD electric pickup as a “sports muscle ute” and said it’s slightly larger than the Toyota HiLux.
Further official details are scarce for now, but the ute is expected to be fitted with BYD’s in-house ‘Blade’ lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that are designed to handle a nail test without thermal runaway.
Overseas reports suggest the BYD electric pickup will be revealed as a near-production concept at this year’s Chengdu Auto Show in September, with a Chinese market launch around the fourth quarter of 2023.
‘New energy vehicle’ brand BYD is currently expanding at a rapid pace, rolling out its EVs in Europe, Japan, and Australia – where its Atto 3 small SUV is selling in strong numbers after a few launch speed bumps.
In fact, the Warren Buffet-back EV and battery supplier eclipses three million EV and PHEV sales globally in November last year.
Speculation suggests the BYD pickup might be sold under one of the company’s recently-announced planned sub-brands.
In addition to the recently-launched Yangwang and premium spinoff Denza brands, BYD plans to launch “another new brand” which will specialise in “professional and personalised identities, covering family cars and luxury cars”.
“The brand will harness the co-creation with users and warmly welcome all the franchised dealerships to join BYD for its promotion,” it added, suggesting the cars with higher degrees of personalisation.
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MORE: BYD electric ute set for 2024 Australian launch
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