- The BYD Seagull electric city hatch reportedly features a sodium-ion battery.
- Sodium-ion is cheaper and more durable than lithium-ion
- The lithium-ion battery will remain on the top trim.
Shenzhen automaker BYD (Build Your Dreams) will reportedly launch one. Sodium ion battery Next year with its entry-level hatchback.
According to Local media outletsThe BYD Seagull could be the first production electric vehicle to feature sodium-ion chemistry – which is more durable, cheaper to produce and safer than the traditional lithium-based packs it replaces.
Sodium-ion batteries are designed to replace lithium iron phosphate (LFP) packs for low-range entry-level EVs. They contain significantly less raw material, with no lithium, cobalt, copper or graphite, making them cheaper to produce and recyclable like lithium-ion batteries.
A BYD Seagull spied testing in China via cnevpost.
The Seagull hatch is reported to launch in China in the second quarter of 2023 (April to June inclusive), starting at ¥60,000 yuan (A$12,500) with a sodium-ion battery providing a range of up to 300 km. This is possible on the generous China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC).
However, BYD is also expected to offer a ¥80,000 yuan LFP battery version with a 400km driving range. Like all BYD electric cars, it is based on Chinese automakers. Proprietary Blade Battery Technologywhich is said to be more space efficient, safer and more durable than standard LFP packs.
While sodium-ion batteries currently cost about the same as lithium units, the report says BYD aims to lower costs over time as mass production increases. Cheaper batteries could also extend to the BYD Dolphin small electric car, which was spotted testing on the streets of Sydney this week.
The Seagull is smaller than the Sail and is not rumored for Australian sale.
BYD Dolphin tested in Sydney.
BYD models are imported through EVDirect, with the Atto 3 small SUV being the only model currently on sale priced at $44,381 before on-road costs and incentives.
It’s set to be joined by the MG 4-rival BYD Dolphin small hatch in the first half of next year, while the Tesla Model 3-rival BYD Cell sedan will lob in the second half down under.
The two new models were initially promised for pre-order later this year, but EV Direct CEO Luke Todd said. The wheels The delay this week is because Imports wants to “move towards becoming a brand that can release models closer to the actual delivery date”.
The yet-to-be-released BYD electric ute has also been touted as a possible model to land in Australia.