Tesla Model 3 Highland competitor BYD Seal launched in Europe at the same price with longer range
Tesla's direct Model 3 Highland competitor from the world's second largest EV maker - the BYD Seal - has launched in Europe a few months after its release in China. Those who expected the BYD Seal's price advantage before the Model 3 in China to be replicated in Europe, however, are in for a disappointment.
The two BYD Seal trims that will be launched in Europe start from €44,900 and €50,990, while the RWD Model 3 Highland starts from €42,990 and the AWD trim is €51,990. "BYD SEAL will be offered in Europe in two trim levels, with 82 kWh rear-wheel drive powertrain and all-wheel drive powertrain, with WLTP range from 520 km to 570 km for the all-wheel drive variant," says the company.
The base RWD Model 3 Highland is rated at 513 km range on the WLTP cycle, shorter than the Seal, while the LR AWD version has 629 km of range, according to Tesla, which is more than the AWD Seal version.
The Highland's price in China, however, is a third lower than the one in Europe, and the same goes for the Seal. In China, the Model 3 Highland went up for preorder at the equivalent of €33,482 (US$35,850) for the base model, much less than what it costs in Europe. The difference in pricing of the 82 kWh models of the BYD Seal that will be sold in Europe is similar, too, with import tariffs and other expenses to blame.
In short, the BYD Seal has no price advantage before the Model 3 Highland in Europe, so BYD will have to battle Tesla's popularity as a brand there only on the merits of the Seal sedan itself. Granted, it is faster and roomier, as well as a bit more powerful than the Tesla, but it remains for the market to decide whether the well-appointed Seal can overcome its direct Model 3 Highland competitor and Tesla's formidable EV brand name.