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China’s BYD launches third EV model in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – China’s BYD (SZ:) launched its third electric vehicle in Japan, it said on Tuesday, a sedan that will be its most expensive model so far in a market where consumers have long favoured domestic brands.

The Shenzhen-based automaker said it had started taking orders for its Seal EV in Japan from Tuesday, setting the suggested retail pricing for the rear-wheel-drive version of the vehicle in the country at 5.28 million yen ($33,111.75).

The model starts from 179,800 yuan ($24,759.70) in China.

The expansion of BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, in Japan could become a worry for domestic automakers, which are struggling in China against BYD and other Chinese EV brands.

The automaker has only rolled out battery-powered cars for the Japanese market, but not vehicles with other powertrain technology such as plug-in hybrids, in which it is a big player in China.

It will offer a rear-wheel-drive and an all-wheel-drive version in Japan that will both come with a 82.56 kilowatt per hour battery pack, the company said in a news release.

The rear-wheel-drive version has a cruising range of 640 km (398 miles), while the 6.05 million yen all-wheel-drive version can drive 575 km on a single charge.

BYD launched the Atto 3 and Dolphin EVs in Japan last year, selling about 2,500 in the country.

© Reuters. Models pose next to Chinese automobile manufacturer BYD's BYD SEAL during the Japan Mobility Show 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan, November 1, 2023. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/ File Photo

($1 = 159.4600 yen)

($1 = 7.2618 renminbi)

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