BYD Dolphin Dynamic Australia’s cheapest EV by slim margin

BYD Dolphin Dynamic EV Australia launch

Within the space of a week, Australia suddenly has two electric vehicles under $40,000 to choose from, with the recent announcement of the BYD Dolphin Dynamic.

In a cheeky bit of competition with fellow Chinese-owned manufacturer MG Motor, BYD has priced its fully-electric hatchback at $38,890 before on-road costs. For reference, the MG4 Excite 51 announced earlier in the week costs just $100 more at $38,990.

Officially revealed at a press conference in Queensland, further details about the car, including battery specifications and estimated range, will be revealed at a launch event at Sea World tonight.

BYD Dolphin Dynamic Australian details

At this stage, only one version of the Dolphin is coming to Australia: the Dynamic. It has a 2,700mm wheelbase, which is almost identical to the MG4 Excite. Although yet to be confirmed, publications like Drive report that the BYD Dolphin Dynamic will have a 44.9kWh battery powering up to 340km of range. It’s slightly less than the MG4 Excite 51’s estimated 350km range and the motor isn’t as powerful.

What BYD is banking on, however, is the Dolphin Dynamic’s broad set of features. On the inside, there’s a 12.8-inch touch infotainment screen that electronically rotates to landscape and portrait configurations depending on preference. It also has Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, sat-nav and wireless charging, in addition to various USB and charging ports. Heated seats even come standard.

BYD Dolphin lavender colour

On the safety front, the BYD Dolphin Dynamic includes seven airbags, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assistance, among other features.

When it comes to storage, the comparisons between the Dolphin and the MG4 Excite are neck-and-neck. With the rear seats up, the Excite holds a slender lead with 363L compared to 345L. However, the roles reverse when the seats are folded down, with the Dolphin claiming 1,310L of space, more than the Excite’s 1,117L.

If you value aesthetics when choosing a car, the Dolphin includes all metallic colour options at no extra cost. Meanwhile, the Excite costs $700 more if you want anything other than white.

EV incentives bring price down further

On hand for the announcement was Luke Todd, CEO of EVDirect, the official Australian distributor for BYD. He pointed to increasing government incentives as a big reason to consider an EV.

“We are proud to introduce an EV of such high quality and safety that is now within reach for more Australians,” Todd said. “With state government rebates as high as $6,000 in Queensland, this makes the Dolphin Dynamic as low as $32,890 plus on-road costs.”

“In some instances, this positions it at a lower price point than similar petrol-powered vehicles, a circumstance that has been unprecedented until now.”

Todd referenced the recent rebate increase in Queensland which doubled from $3,000 to $6,000 earlier in the year. It’s one of the most generous subsidies in Australia, coming as part of the Zero Emission Vehicle Rebate Scheme for EVs up to $68,000.

Each state has different incentives and rebates on offer, so it’s worth checking what applies to you. The more expensive but impressive Cupra Born launched in Canberra because the ACT leads the way in EV adoption. Nearly one in five cars sold in the nation’s capital were EVs. There are also Federal incentives, with tax breaks and FBT exemptions available for eligible EVs.

For now, we eagerly await further details about the BYD Dolphin Dynamic arriving in Australia. Keep an eye on the company’s website, as the affordable EV goes on sale at 8 pm AEST tonight (22 June) ahead of Q4 deliveries.