Price drop: BYD Seagull – the cheapest electric car in the world is a declaration of war

The masses do it in car manufacturing.

Price drop: BYD Seagull – the cheapest electric car in the world is a declaration of war

The masses do it in car manufacturing. Large quantities mean high scaling effects and falling costs. But these numbers can only be achieved with cheap cars. And this is where the Chinese manufacturer BYD attacks: In China, the Seagull in the Glory Edition is offered at a list price of just 70,000 yuan, which is around 9,000 euros. There are also discounts. With a length of 3.78 meters and a wheelbase of 2.5 meters, the car offers classic small car dimensions - just like an Opel Corsa. At a competitive price there is 75 hp and a battery with 30 kilowatt hours, which should be enough for 305 kilometers.

The US company Caresoft dismantled and analyzed a Seagull model. In short: Anyone who thought of Chinese junk was wrong. The investigation showed that the vehicle is designed, constructed and executed efficiently and simply, but with unexpected quality and expected reliability. "What they did was done very well," said Caresoft. "It was done efficiently."

As expected, the capacity of the memory does not set any records, but the technology of the battery does. It does not contain cobalt, nickel and lithium and should therefore be particularly cheap to produce. This technology alone will fundamentally change the market for electricity storage.

The prices of Chinese cars are falling - and the end point is unlikely to be reached at 9,000 euros. In Asia itself, light vehicles below the car class are also popular. Models like the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV are significantly cheaper. The Seagull will not come to EU Europe, but it will be delivered to South Africa, with Brazil and Mexico to follow. With such models, BYD will further expand its position as the world's largest manufacturer of EV vehicles.

Car manufacturers like VW, whose models only warm up beyond 30,000 euros, cannot keep up. In terms of price, they start in a segment that used to be called a better middle class. Vehicles that the majority of customers, even in Europe, cannot afford. The Seagull is a small car for the city or at least for manageable distances. Just like small combustion cars with entry-level engines used to be. For many, that's enough. Added to this are the sensationally low electricity prices for private customers in China, which make e-driving tempting anyway.

Commenting on the rise of BYD and other Chinese automakers, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January that Chinese automakers will "destroy" their competitors unless trade barriers stop them. The Seagull in the economy edition is a clear warning signal. The model shows at what price BYD can produce and sell at a profit. This cost advantage also exists with expensive and complex models. Similar to solar and power storage technology, it is expected that Chinese manufacturers will flood global markets with electric vehicles. The West can try to shield its home markets. But that means nothing other than that our own citizens have to pay overpriced prices. The world market cannot be regulated by the USA and the EU anyway.

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