Everything you need to know about the BYD EA1 (BYD Dolphin) [Update]

All the details of the BYD Dolphin, which we initially knew by its codename ‘BYD EA1,’ are now officially out now. Australia will get the BYD Dolphin, Nexport, the country’s official distributor of BYD vehicles, has confirmed.

Design

Wolfgang Egger, the former Audi design chief who is now the Global Design Director at BYD, has designed the Dolphin. The little electric hatchback is the first BYD model to adopt the company’s “marine design concepts,” and it premieres a new logo as well. The new Chinese EV features a swoopy but odd-faced front and sporty side and rear structures. The interior has a fluidic and minimalist design theme and a huge central touchscreen in landscape orientation. The cabin has more than 20 storage spaces, and the boot can accommodate four 20-inch cabin bags.

This is our urban dream. It is a vision. It’s not just a car, but it is a device for future mobility in the city. It’s compact, it’s fresh, individual, and an icon. As you remember, I always say that a car should be defined only by three lines (inaudible). It’s a new architecture for electric mobility, and only these three lines, they define the shape. It’s really unique. It’s an icon. You see once, and you never forget again, can you?

Wolfgang Egger, Design Director, BYD
BYD Dolphin or BYD EA1 rear three quarters
Nexport will import the BYD Dolphin (BYD EA1) to Australia. The Australian launch has been pushed to 2022. Image Source: BYD

YouTube channel Wheelsboy has uploaded a walkaround showing the BYD Dolphin in the metal. On the outside, the design of the lights, especially the tail lights, impresses the presenter. The technical-looking tail lights take inspiration from the Chinese knotting handicraft. The 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels look more than inspired by the VW ID.3’s 20-inch Sanya rims.

Inside, the cylindrical panel of physical controls on the centre console has the attention of the YouTuber. Indeed, this panel with rotary dials for most functions and a nice little gear selector switch that allows selecting, drive, neutral, and drive with a simple flick is a neat touch. The sports seats in two-tone white/black colour and orange accents make the cabin very appealing for young car buyers.

Video Source: YouTube/Wheelsboy

Platform

The BYD Dolphin sits on the company’s new e-platform 3.0, but it is just an economical city car. So, it doesn’t benefit from the platform’s top-end specifications, like support for 800-volt high-power chargers for rapid charging, for instance.

BYD calls e-platform 3.0 “the cradle of the next generation of electric vehicles.” The design of the vehicle body integrates the company’s ultra-safe Blade battery pack into it as a structural part. The new platform allows parameters like 2.9-second 0-100 km/h acceleration time, a 1,000 km range, and rapid charging at a level powerful enough to gain a 150 km range in just five minutes. The company suggests that the torsional rigidity of e-platform 3.0 models can be double that of its ICE models.

Specifications

The BYD Dolphin measures 4,070-4,150 mm in length, 1,770 mm in width, and 1,570 mm in height. The small electric car has a 2,700 mm wheelbase. It is available in three technical configurations, each with a different range.

The base and middle configurations employ a 70 kW/180 Nm permanent magnet synchronous motor. This motor draws energy from a 30.7 kWh Blade LFP battery pack in the base configuration and a 44.9 kWh Blade LFP battery pack in the middle configuration.

The base configuration provides a range of 301 km (NEDC), and the middle configuration allows a noticeably longer range of 405 km (NEDC). Both these configurations feature 16-inch alloy wheels with 195/60 R16 tyres.

The top-end BYD Dolphin, which should make it to Australia, gets a more potent permanent magnet synchronous motor that generates 130 kW (177 PS) and 290 mm of torque. An MIIT filing that we have accessed has shown that it can attain a top speed of 160 km/h. Its battery pack is the same 44.9 kWh unit as that of the middle configuration, but it gives a slightly lower range of 401 km (NEDC).

BYD Dolphin SpecificationBase VariantMid VariantTop-end Variant
Length4,070 mm4,125 mm4,150 mm
Width1,770 mm1,770 mm1,770 mm
Height1,570 mm1,570 mm1,570 mm
Wheelbase2,700 mm2,700 mm2,700 mm
Motor TypePMSMPMSMPMSM
Motor Power70 kW70 kW130 kW (177 PS)
Motor Torque180 Nm180 Nm290 Nm
Battery Pack Energy Content30.7 kWh44.9 kWh44.9 kWh
Range (NEDC)301 km405 km401 km
Max. AC Charging Power7 kW7 kW7 kW
Max. DC Charging Power40 kW60 kW60 kW
Fast-charging Time (30-80% SoC)30 minutes30 minutes30 minutes
0-50 km/h Acceleration Time3.9 seconds3.9 seconds3 seconds
Specifications as on the BYD Auto China website

Price & Features

The BYD Dolphin launch in China was held at the 2021 Chengdu Auto Show on 30 August 2021, with prices falling in the range of CNY 93,800-121,800 (AUD 19,808-25,721). According to a report from autohome.com.cn, BYD received 2,000 pre-orders for the Dolphin in just one hour after pre-sales began on 13 August 2021.

LED headlights and taillights, heated ORVMs, 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 5-inch digital instrument cluster, heat pump, 6-way adjustable driver seat, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, driving recorder, mobile key (NFC-based), and a panoramic sunroof are some of the main features of the Dolphin. It is worth noting here that no other EV in this segment comes with a heat pump.

On the Australian launch

In July, Nexport CEO Luke Todd told thedriven.io that the EA1 Australian launch has been pushed to 2022. Initially, the company planned to launch the new EV in Australia in July and begin customer deliveries in Q1 2022 (January-March 2022), as reported by Drive.com.au in April.

Nexport will price the BYD Dolphin in Australia “well under AUD 35,000.” Its founder claims that the range of the new electric car is approximately 500 km, and its 0-100 km/h acceleration time is “less than 5.0 seconds.”

Nexport gets 3,000 orders from Splend

Nexport has received an order of 3,000 EVs from Splend, Australia’s largest car rental provider for ride-sharing drivers, it said in May. These will be EVs made by BYD, and they will likely include the Dolphin. Splend will take deliveries of the EVs over a period of two years, beginning in early 2022.

BYD Dolphin (BYD EA1) FAQs

When will BYD Dolphin Australian launch happen?

The BYD EA1 is will be launched in Australia in early 2022, as per Australian reports.

What will be the BYD Dolphin’s price in Australia?

The BYD Dolphin will be priced well under AUD 35,000.

Which cars will be BYD Dolphin rivals in Australia?

The Dolphin will be the lone ranger in its segment in Australia, having no competitors.

Featured Image Source: BYD