BYD presents new electric cars – and a plug-in hybrid

Chinese car manufacturer BYD presented eight models at the Geneva Motor Show, including its first plug-in hybrid model for Europe. However, the PHEV offshoot of the Seal U will only be sold in selected markets.

Image: BYD

BYD’s presence at the Geneva Motor Show – which was significantly smaller than in the past – is only its second-ever appearance at a trade fair in Europe after its stand at the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich. In Geneva, the manufacturer had several electric cars from its core brand and the new luxury brand Yangwang on its stand – as well as a plug-in hybrid.

The Seal U DM-i is derived from the battery-electric SUV Seal U; in China, the model is marketed as the BYD Song Plus DM-i. DM-i is BYD’s internal abbreviation for plug-in hybrids; BYD has already discontinued the production of pure combustion engines in 2022. The Song Plus DM-i is currently available in two versions in China: both use an 81 kW 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with four cylinders and a 145 kW electric motor, which also drives the front axle. The difference lies in the battery, as the base model has an LFP storage capacity of 18.3 kWh, with 26.6 kWh also available as an option. BYD had the DM-i AWD with a second electric motor on the rear axle for all-wheel drive on offer in China until summer 2023.

BYD does not provide any technical data on the Seal U DM-i in the press release for the trade fair premiere in Geneva. Head of Europe Michael Shu merely refers to a purely electric range of up to 115 kilometres. The SUV is set to be launched from the second quarter of 2024 in European countries where the charging infrastructure is not yet sufficiently developed. The battery-electric Seal U is available in Europe from 41,990 euros.

BYD also presented the Yangwang luxury brand in Europe at its press conference in Geneva. BYD’s Head of Design, Wolfgang Egger, presented the Yangwang U8, a large SUV. “Yangwang conveys a strong message by emphasising how sculpture, beauty and proportion can evoke emotions that can make life more enjoyable, while showing how technology can make life easier through new experiences embodied by new energy,” said Egger. However, it is not confirmed when Yangwang will come to Europe.

In addition to the trade fair appearance in Switzerland, BYD has also made headlines this week with a completely different topic: on Monday, the ‘BYD Explorer No. 1’, a transport ship owned by BYD, moored in Bremerhaven and exclusively transports vehicles from the manufacturer. 3,000 cars are to roll off the ship in Germany. The ‘BYD Explorer No. 1’ had previously unloaded 1,500 vehicles in the Netherlands.

BYD had ordered a total of eight car transporters, with the seven other ships still under construction. With its own fleet of ships, BYD wants to control the export of its vehicles itself and not be slowed down by a lack of freight capacity. However, this is also a risky step, as business in Europe is only just getting off the ground. According to a report, there are already numerous off-loaded electric cars from Chinese manufacturers in Bremerhaven that have not yet been sold.

Source: Info via email,, (in German, Bremerhaven)


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