Global Launch of the First Electric Bakkie by Tesla’s Main Competitor is Scheduled for 2024

The world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, BYD Co. of China, intends to challenge Ford Motor Co.’s Ranger, Isuzu Motors Ltd.’s D-Max, and Toyota Motor Corp.’s well-liked Hilux with the introduction of its first electrified pickup truck later this year.

A boxy dual-cab truck covered in orange and blue camouflage paint is being road tested in an undisclosed area, according to photos made public by BYD.

The corporation declared that the mid-to full-size vehicle will be its first “new energy” pickup, but it withheld information about the engine, performance specs, and price.

Although BYD cars aren’t sold in the US, the manufacturer has been making inroads into pickup-heavy regions in South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

For example, the top three selling cars in Australia are pickup trucks made by Ford, Isuzu, and Toyota, called Hilux and Ranger, respectively. Isuzu debuted the D-Max electrified variant last month.

The Hilux and Ranger were likewise the best-selling models in South Africa in February 2024, with the D-Max coming in fifth.

The truck will expand BYD’s extensive range of electric vehicles, which already includes the well-liked Seagull hatchback, which retails for 69,800 yuan (R180,164), and the Yangwang supercar, which is priced at 1.68 million yuan (R4.34 million).

With a 33% market share in the world’s largest EV market, China has become a BYD juggernaut thanks to its range and a relentless wave of price reductions.

Starting at R768,000, BYD introduced its first electric vehicle (EV) in South Africa in mid-2023 with the Atto 3 SUV.

Throughout the year, it also intends to introduce the more reasonably priced Dolphin hatchback, which is anticipated to retail for R550,000.

Although it is still unknown, BYD’s most affordable model, the Seagull, may also make its local premiere.

The business has filed for “Dolphin Mini” trademark registration in South Africa. In markets outside of China, the Seagull is marketed under this name.

Considering how common bakkies are in South Africa and BYD’s ambitious intentions for the market, it could make sense to include an electric bakkie in the mix.

The Maxus T90 electric bakkie, which costs R1.1 million, is now available in South Africa from at least one Chinese manufacturer, SAIC.

Additionally, JAC intends to offer its T9 bakkie electric in the nation; an anticipated launch date is the second part of 2024.

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