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BYD unveils sedans with 1,300-mile range, shaking up the auto market

The extended driving range of BYD's new sedans outperforms its hybrid rivals.

Chinese automaker BYD has introduced two cutting-edge plug-in hybrid sedans that can cover over 1,300 miles without the need for refueling or recharging, a remarkable breakthrough in the world’s largest auto market. The latest models, Qin L DM-i and Seal 06 DM-i, boast enhanced powertrains, delivering a driving range of approximately 1,306 miles on a full tank and battery. This range is nearly the distance from New York City to Miami.

The Qin L DM-i and Seal 06 DM-i are priced between $13,775 and $19,295, making them competitively priced within China’s sedan segment. These models mark the fifth iteration of BYD’s plug-in hybrid technology since the company launched its first model in 2008. The new versions reduce fuel consumption to 2.9 liters per 100 kilometers from the previous 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers.

Additionally, the company, backed by Warren Buffett, has recently surpassed Tesla as the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles and continues to expand its lineup with new models, including a Ferrari-like sports car and its first pickups.

The extended driving range of BYD’s new sedans outperforms its hybrid rivals. For instance, Li Auto’s latest L6 model has a driving range of just over 860 miles, and Huawei-backed Seres’s Aito M9 offers around 870 miles. Major global hybrid carmakers typically offer ranges that cap just above 680 miles, underscoring the superior performance of BYD’s new models.

Moreover, analysts believe the new BYD models’ extended range, reduced fuel consumption, and competitive pricing will reinforce the company’s leading position in the industry. This innovation comes as rivals prepare to release new models and adjust prices amid a prolonged price war. The new sedans are expected to intensify pressure on foreign automakers, particularly targeting Japanese brands like Nissan and Toyota, which are known for their low prices and operating costs.

Nomura analyst Joel Ying noted that the primary competition for BYD’s new models would be internal-combustion-engine (ICE) cars in the same price range, such as Nissan’s Sylphy and Toyota’s Levin and Corolla models. Unlike these ICE competitors, BYD’s new hybrids offer a significantly longer driving range, providing a substantial advantage in the market.

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