Update – ‘BYD Han variants’ section updated with design details.
While sales of the BYD Han are yet to commence in Europe, the Warren Buffet-backed Chinese carmaker is reportedly readying additional bodystyles for the Han nameplate, with spy shots showing a cabriolet and a station wagon (via AutoEvolution.com) under testing on Chinese roads. However, these looks like prototypes made for studies and are not production-intent models.
BYD Han variants
BYD is keen to export the Han to Europe, having showcased the electric car in the Old Continent at a German roadshow last year (via Youtube), and confirming plans to begin sales in the near future. Currently available only as a sedan, the Han has become a sales success for BYD in its home market. In July 2021, BYD rolled out the 100,000th Han just a year after its production start, yet 5 months later, on December 24, 2021, the 150,000th production milestone was achieved. The design, features, and battery technology of the Han has made it an appealing option for the Chinese electric sedan customer.
To expand sales, an entry-level standard range variant of the Han was launched in China in December 2021 with a 64.8 kWh LFP battery as against the top-end model’s 76.9 kWh battery pack. The BYD Blade LFP battery offers a range of 506 km on the entry level model against 605 km in the top end variant (NEDC figure). It would be safe to assume the cabriolet and estate variants of the Han to offer similar range estimates, if they get production approval from the board.
The latest spy shots shared by Greg Kable on Twitter on January 24, 2022, reveal the Han station wagon in a deep blue body colour, featuring wrap around taillamps that run the width of the stepped tailgate, a steeply raked rear windshield glass twinned with a sporty roof spoiler, a rear bumper that gets a diffuser-like effect, and large horizontal reflector strips.
The open-top version of the Han EV could be the first of its kind if introduced, whereas the estate variant would join the MG5 as perhaps only the world’s second electric wagon. The limited volume appeal of these styles may be more than made up for by the intangible benefits of pushing the Han brand upwards into new market segments. However, we don’t know today what BYD has in mind.
In China, post subsidies, the BYD Han range kicks off at an equivalent EUR 29,000 and tops out at EUR 34,000. The estate and convertible bodystyles of the Han would see a minor price increment over the sedan, and the sales forecast of these niche variants would be conservative, if they make the cut.
BYD’s European Performance
BYD launched its Tang electric SUV in Norway through RSA, its local sales distributor, last August. On December 21, 2021, BYD announced it has delivered 1,000 units of the Tang, and it expects the momentum to continue through 2022.
2022 should also see BYD announce sales plans in other EU markets, and more importantly the launch timeline of the Han in Europe. The company comes off a record year for sales of its NEV (New Energy Vehicles) passenger cars with cumulative sales growing by 231.6% YoY to 593,745 units.