Chinese company considers launching £8,000 electric car in UK

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Chinese company considers launching £8,000 electric car in UK

One of the UK’s most popular Chinese car companies could soon introduce an incredibly affordable electric vehicle that is already a hit with buyers in its home market.

The BYD Seagull is a compact city car, similar in size to the Fiat 500e and petrol cars like the Hyundai i10, which retails for the equivalent of about £8,000.

If the car goes on sale for a similar price in the UK, it would be nearly half the cost of the Dacia Spring, currently the most affordable EV on sale.

Speaking to the motoring publication Autocar, Mark Blundell, BYD UK marketing boss, noted that the Seagull could help many drivers get behind the wheel of their first electric car.

He explained: « EVs shouldn’t just be for well-off people. [We should] have affordable EVs in the range, and need accessible EVs, not just £50,000 to £70,000 ones. »

A cute five-door hatchback, the BYD Seagull’s styling is modern and clean, thanks to its sharp, pointed headlights and flat bonnet.

There are also a few nods to more rugged crossover models in its design, including the matte-black side strips and wheel arches, and a large front grille.

Inside, the Seagull mimics larger cars in the BYD range, including the Dolphin and Atto 3, featuring a large touchscreen on top of the carefully sculpted dashboard.

Much like many other small electric models, the BYD Seagull is hardly designed for performance, featuring a 74bhp electric motor.

Nevertheless, all models are still capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in a very acceptable 13 seconds and reach a top speed of 81mph.

However, the Seagull’s range is particularly impressive for such a cheap EV, with basic models capable of covering 190-miles and the top of the range ‘Flying’ trim able to travel for up to 252 miles per charge.

Whilst modifications, such as adding safety equipment required in Europe, will mean that it is unlikely UK motorists will ever be able to buy a BYD Seagull for £8,000, the Chinese company hopes to expand in the coming years.

This is set to be achieved by introducing more models into the brand’s lineup and expanding the dealership network from 21 to a total of 60 throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, BYD is by no means the only car brand set to make electric motoring cheaper, with Volkswagen due to launch the Polo-sized ID2 and Renault the new Twingo by 2026.

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