- BYD Ute due in second half of 2024
- Petrol-electric coming first, EV to follow later
- BYD Australia: “Best in class when it comes out”
The BYD Ute – due in Australia in late 2024 – will be “best in class”, according to the Chinese brand’s local arm.
At the media launch of the electric Seal sedan, Luke Todd, the CEO of BYD distributor EVDirect, said "the vehicle is going to be… so well suited for the Australian market, and that’s why we’re making the claim that it will be the best in class when it comes out”.
Todd confirmed the brand “will sell and deliver BYD Ute next year”, with a local launch in the second half of the year.
However, unlike BYD’s current vehicles – the Dolphin, Atto 3 and Seal – the as-yet-unnamed Ute will feature a dual-motor ‘DM-i’ hybrid arrangement with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine at launch.
Unlike current plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the new Ford Ranger PHEV, which add electric components to an existing ICE-based platform, the BYD Ute has been designed as a “ground-up EV” with internal combustion added later.
“At the moment, plug-in or traditional hybrid is a petrol vehicle that's had a battery introduced. This is the complete reverse around, so much so that we’re actually working with government authorities to get our own category because this is technology that nobody’s ever seen. It's an ultra-low electric vehicle with the best of both worlds… there’s no range anxiety,” said Todd.
“What we’re about is bringing the best technology to Australia. Now, this is new technology that nobody’s ever seen before and we’re talking ultra-low emissions.
“So, yes, it’s not full electric… but it’s an electric platform vehicle and we will educate Australians on the benefits… There will be cynics… but when they see the emissions ratings and the highly efficient vehicle and that they’ve got the best of both worlds, people will understand why we’ve chosen it.”
BYD is said to be targeting a 1000-kilometre-plus driving range for the petrol-electric Ute.
As announced, an all-electric version of the Ute will follow around 12 months later in 2025 or 2026.
“We want vehicles that Australians can actually afford. We don’t ever want to be pushing $100,000. The reality is a full EV ute at the moment would be over $100,000 just for the battery size, to power, to get enough range.”
Patent images of the BYD Ute surfaced earlier this week, confirming it’ll follow a similar design to the GWM Ute and Ford Ranger.
Last month, Luke Todd told 4X4 Australia BYD will use feedback from Australia in the development of the Ute.
“I can confirm the feedback from the partnership and communication of what Australian consumers are looking for was extremely detailed. We’re talking an immense amount of data sharing of what consumers want for Australia and a lot of those inputs are being implemented into the ute… It is very much a co-designed vehicle for the Australian market,” he said.