The BYD Dolphin is now the cheapest EV in South Africa

Several BYD dealerships in South Africa are now promoting the Dolphin hatchback, with prices starting from R539,900, positioning it as the most affordable new electric vehicle (EV) in the country.

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This marks BYD’s second model available in South Africa, establishing itself as a prominent competitor to Tesla. Previous estimates placed the Dolphin’s indicative price at R550,000, according to feedback received by EV Charge co-founder Roberto Bruzanniti from a dealership employee.

Recent reports from TopAuto confirmed the arrival of the first BYD Dolphin units in the country through the Durban harbour in early May 2024.

The confirmed pricing places the Dolphin significantly below the previous cheapest EV in South Africa, the GWM Ora 03, by R147,050.

The Dolphin offers two variants: the Standard and Extended models. The Standard version features a 70kW/180Nm motor paired with a 44.9kWh battery pack, offering a range of 340km on a single charge. It supports DC fast charging speeds of up to 60kW and AC slow charging speeds of up to 7.4kW.

On the other hand, the Extended model boasts a more powerful 150kW/310Nm motor, achieving a 0–100km/h acceleration in 7 seconds. Equipped with a larger 60.5kWh battery pack, it can cover 427km on a single charge based on the WLTP cycle. The Extended model supports faster 80kW DC charging and 7.4kW AC charging, ensuring comparable total charging times despite the larger battery.

Despite a more conservative design compared to BYD’s first car in South Africa, the Atto 3, the Dolphin offers advanced technology and features, including a rotatable 12.8-inch centre display.

For those prioritizing safety, the Dolphin boasts a 5-star rating in both Euro NCAP and Australian NCAP testing, adding to its appeal among safety-conscious consumers.