Chinese car brand could launch the UK's cheapest electric vehicle this year with price tag of just £8,000

Chinese car brand could launch the UK's cheapest electric vehicle this year with price tag of just £8,000

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 03/04/2024

- 11:08

The Chinese company sold more than 134,000 electric vehicles in March alone

Chinese car company BYD is mulling over plans to launch the cheapest electric vehicle in the UK market to date which could threaten to shake up the industry.

With a reported starting price of £8,000, as sold in China, the BYD Seagull would make it the cheapest option available to drivers across the UK.

Concerns over China's dominance in the electric vehicle market have been well documented across Europe, with the European Commission putting in place strict measures and tariffs to ensure drivers don’t just go for the cheapest price.

The Seagull has a range of up to 251 miles and features a 38.88kWh lithium battery while the vehicle holds 75 horsepower, despite the low price.

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BYD Seagull electric vehicle

The BYD Seagull could launch in the UK later this year


Speaking at an event, the car manufacturer’s UK marketing boss Mark Blundell said he was keen to have the Seagull model launch in the UK.

The model would be the latest EV from the brand to come to the UK, behind the ATTO 3, Dolphin and Seal vehicle.

Blundell explained that the BYD strategy focused on making EVs accessible to all with lower prices a huge part of that.

The company sold 134,352 electric vehicles in March alone with 291,730 sold in total this year and more than three million vehicles last year.

Since its launch in the UK last year, BYD has already opened shops in nine cities, including London, Glasgow, Stockport, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Leeds, Southampton and Exeter.

It has more than 30 dealerships spread across the UK with the company detailing plans to expand this to almost 60 by the end of next year.

China already has a foothold across Europe as one in four electric vehicles sold in Europe will be made in China by the end of the year.

Last month, Transport Secretary Mark Harper warned that if China tried to undercut competition for electric vehicles in the UK by making prices too low, he would take action.

Harper warned that the UK could be pushed to put tariffs on Chinese imports of electric vehicles if they disrupt the market too much by underpinning the price point.

The potential launch of the BYD Seagull could do just that as the company surpassed Tesla as the largest producer of electric vehicles worldwide.

It comes as Norway could become the first country to have more electric vehicles on the road than petrol and diesel cars by the end of this year or in early 2025.

The Norwegian Parliament is aiming to ensure that all new cars sold by 2025 will be electric or hydrogen-based.


A BYD dealership

BYD launched in the UK last year


The country is already on track with electric cars holding nearly 80 per cent of the car market share in 2022, data from Reuters found.

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