BYD DOLPHIN: blade technology cuts into UK market

YOU can’t accuse BYD of being a shy newcomer to the UK market.

Currently with 27 dealers around the country, they’re aiming to have 100 by the end of next year, giving more motorists the opportunity to tap into their range of all electric cars.And not missing an early trick, they’ve quickly decided to offer a more conservative black leather trim to their new DOLPHIN model – to complement the wackier colours available at launch which will catch the eye of younger buyers, but also attract the attention of those of us who prefer a more subtle cabin to work in.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) have already launched the larger ATTO 3, and the C segment DOLPHIN hatchback is the latest to hit the roads from the Chinese manufacturer, which started out making batteries and now produces half the world’s ipads.

That’s on top of producing 5.7 million electric vehicles so far.
Under the skin it uses the new ‘e-Platform 3.0’ which makes the most of  BYD’s expertise in electrical matters. BYD has its own way of doing batteries – called Blade, the pack looks a bit like planks of wood joined together rather than the individual cells of other designs. It is lithium iron-phosphate (LFP), and the Blade pack uses no cobalt in its construction. LFP is also considered safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries and BYD emphasises the safety of its Blade by showing nails being driven into the pack and an entire pack being run over by a truck without mishap.

Blade is also a more compact unit than a conventional battery pack and forms part of BYD’s eight-in-one powertrain, integrating all the components you need for electric motoring into one package and freeing up more space for occupants and improving efficiency at the same time. These components include the vehicle control unit, battery, motor, transmission, charger and the heat pump – the latter istandard on all cars and is said to increase thermal efficiency of the battery by up to 20 per cent in the winter – a time when battery range can plummet.Dominating the interior is the central 12.8 inch touchscreen which neatly side-steps the argument as to whether landscape or portrait orientation is best. It does both, rotated by a button on the steering wheel, on the unit itself or by simply asking the car to do it in the same way you’d ask Alexa. And it comes with loads of kit.

One useful but not immediately obvious aspect of ownership is its over-the-air software updates, which means any electronic issues can quickly be resolved much as they are on smartphones.

DOLPHIN is the first model in the Ocean series (watch out for other names) and the first to adopt BYD’s “Ocean Aesthetics” design concept – witness the fisherman’s net design incorporated in the rear light cluster.

It’s available with a 60.4 kWh LFP Blade Battery with a 265 mile range and later also with a 44.9 kWh LFP Blade Battery with the estimated range of 211 miles for Active and 193 miles for Boost.
There are four trim levels (Active, Boost, Comfort, Design) priced between £26,195 and £31,695 OTR.

An added incentive for buyers is a free Shell recharge card for up to 3,000 miles of driving.



Price: £31,695
Engine: permanent magnet synchronous motor, 60.4kWh Blade battery
Power: 201bhp
Torque: 228 lb/ft
Transmission: single speed auto
Top speed: 99mph
0-62mph: 7.0 seconds
Range: 265 miles
CO2 emissions: 0g/km

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