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Tesla Model 3's formidable competitor BYD Seal released at much lower starting price

The Model 3 competitor Seal has officially launched (image: BYD/YouTube)
The Model 3 competitor Seal has officially launched (image: BYD/YouTube)
Slated for a release in August, the new BYD Seal models are larger than the Model 3 and come with cell-to-chassis blade battery packs that offer longer range and better collision safety than Tesla's electric car. Above all, the BYD Seal is much cheaper, too, with its top-end model with 435-mile range costing as much as the base Model 3.

BYD, the Buffett-backed carmaker that recently became the first to give up on solely gas-powered vehicles, just lifted the curtains over its hotly anticipated Seal model that plans to take on the Tesla Model 3 in the affordable EV segment. While the Model 3's rampant price increases have taken it out of the affordable range, the BYD Seal will start from the equivalent of US$31,130 in its RWD version with standard 340-mile range.

The top-end BYD Seal with AWD technology and 405-mile range will cost US$42,575, a tad above the longest, 435-mile range model. For comparison, in the same market Tesla charges for the entry level Model 3 with the same base range as much as for the top-end Seal and that's with the government subsidies. The BYD Seal's dimensions are larger than those of the Model 3 to boot, and it comes with a cell-to-body battery packaging technology that incorporates the cells into the frame.

Coupled with BYD's innovative blade battery solution, this structure has allowed for a much safer electric vehicle with double the torsion rigidity and 50% better protection in case of frontal collisions. BYD touts that, while "while undergoing nail penetration tests, the Blade Battery emitted neither smoke, nor fire after being penetrated, and its surface temperature only reached 30 to 60°C." The pack was also "subjected to other extreme test conditions, such as being crushed, bent, being heated in a furnace to 300°C and overcharged by 260%. None of these resulted in a fire or explosion," BYD adds, while current high-nickel performance EV batteries "exceeded 500°C and violently burned" during the nail test.

The BYD Seal models are slated for release in August with up to 150 kW fast charging capability that pumps the battery from 30% to 80% in half an hour. BYD already has 60,000 pre-orders on hand and said it will gradually be increasing its production capacity for the Seal to 30,000 units per month, presenting a formidable competition to the Tesla Model 3 there.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 07 > Tesla Model 3's formidable competitor BYD Seal released at much lower starting price
Daniel Zlatev, 2022-07-29 (Update: 2022-07-31)