Africa Will Benefit From BYD’s Entry Into The Japanese Passenger Vehicle Market

According to BYD’s announcement, sales of passenger electric vehicles in Japan will begin in January 2023. The ATTO 3 will be the first of three new BYD models to be made available in Japan in January. The Dolphin and Seal will come after this and go on sale in the middle and second half of 2023, respectively.

Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division, revealed the company’s marketing tagline, Hello e-life. According to Liu, BYD will begin introducing electric car products fit for the Japanese market today in collaboration with dealers and partners from all spheres of society in Japan. With the tagline “Hello, e-Life” and the objective of e-travel for everyone, we are dedicated to helping Japan transition to a low-carbon lifestyle.

Through its pure electric buses, energy storage systems, pure electric forklifts, and other companies, BYD has built up a solid market and brand basis over the years, according to BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu. Today, BYD formally enters the Japanese market for new energy passenger vehicles with the backing and expectations of customers. We value this business opportunity tremendously and believe that even the longest journey begins with a single step. We are committed to offering Japanese consumers cutting-edge technologies, first-rate goods, and top-notch services in order to provide an unforgettable travel experience.

The specs of the models is summarized as follows:
The BYD Dolphin’s 180 Nm of torque and 70 kW of power
150 km/h max speed
BYD Blade Battery (30.72 kWh LFP (LiFePO4) capacity)
A roughly 225 km range (WLTP)
AC 7 kW on-board charger
40 kW DC Fast Charging
A Dolphin model with a bigger 44.9 kWh battery and improved DC fast charging up to 60 kW is also available.

The 150 kW and 310 N.m of torque BYD Yuan Plus (also known as the ATTO 3 in other countries like Japan, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand) motor

160 km/h top speed

BYD Blade Battery with a 50.12 kWh capacity (LFP)

320 kilometers of range (WLTP)
A long-range ATTO 3 model with a 60.48 kWh battery is also available.
The long-awaited BYD Seal Sedan (Standard Range Version) Motor with 310 Nm and 150 kW
Acceleration: 7.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h.
61.44 kWh of battery capacity.
Range: around 430 kilometers (WLTP)
A long-range version of the BYD Seal is also available (82.56 kWh battery):
motor with 230 kW and 360 Nm
Acceleration: 5.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h from rest.
Additionally, there is a Performance all-wheel drive variant.
670 Nm and 390 kW motors
3.8 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h
82.56 kWh of battery capacity.

The direction of the automotive industry in Africa’s right-hand drive markets is mostly determined by the Japanese market. This is due to the fact that, with the exception of South Africa, approximately 90% of the vehicles in these markets are used vehicles imported from Japan. For a variety of reasons, the majority of individuals cannot afford a brand-new car that costs between $30,000 and $40,000. These include the lack of accessible automobile financing as well as the reality that the majority of people in these developing economies have lesser incomes than people in industrialized countries. The bulk of people who purchase cars do so from local or online Japanese car dealers who would have imported the eight-year-old vehicles from Japan. Depending on the country’s import regulations, these used cars may be older than 8 years. The Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Mazda CX 5 are some of the well-liked automobiles in this class. Depending on the age, condition, and mileage, these cars will sell locally for between $8,000 and $20,000, making it more accessible for more people to purchase a car.

Japanese automakers have prioritized plug-less hybrids over battery-electric vehicles over the past ten years. Due to the well-established supply chain from Japan, a significant portion of these plug-less hybrids are now now making their way to these African markets. As the increasing costs of gasoline start to put a strain on their wallets, many individuals are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Currently, some of the types you can find everywhere on the streets of places like Harare are the Toyota Aqua hybrid and the Honda Fit hybrid. The original generation Nissan Leaf is also essentially the only right-hand drive vehicle that enthusiasts and early EV adopters can easily get. There is no active temperature management system in the battery pack of the first-generation Nissan Leaf. Therefore, due to problems with increased battery degradation in hot temperatures, this is not the best vehicle for these markets.

Due to the Japanese auto industry’s focus on plug-less hybrids and the country’s tardy adoption of fully electric vehicles, buyers in these African markets have not had access to a wide range of used battery-electric vehicles. A glimmer of optimism exists now as battery-electric vehicle sales in Japan began to increase in 2021. About 20,000 new EVs were sold in Japan sold in 2021 , which also includes 8,600 foreign electric cars. The 8,600 imported electric vehicles represented a considerable increase over the previous year, being about three times higher. A market boost will result from BYD’s debut into the Japanese market in January of the following year. The BYD Dolphin belongs to the same car class as the well-liked Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. In China, the BYD Dolphin is available for around $15,000. Pricing will probably be significantly higher for the Japanese market.

This does raise the possibility that some of these will appear on the used automobile market in the ensuing 4–5 years and travel to African right-hand drive markets. I purchased my 2013 Nissan Leaf on one of these platforms that sells secondhand Japanese cars in 2020, and I currently drive it in Zimbabwe. I purchased the car when it was 7 years old since it was more reasonable for me to do so than to purchase it brand-new, which would have cost me more than $35,000 before import duties. These BYD Dolphins may start to appear as secondhand cars in a few years at prices that prospective purchasers in this country can currently afford.

To hasten the adoption of electric vehicles, we must use all available channels. One of the primary ways to do this will be to harness the ecology of the used car market already in place to introduce EVs to these markets.

Pictures provided by BYD Japan

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