BYD Dolphin and Seal EVs confirmed for Australia, Dolphin spotted in Sydney

BYD’s Australian distributor is riding high on strong orders, huge interest and expanding partnerships

Byd Seal Camouflaged Lachlan Smith Smithy Dll

UPDATE, November 30: BYD Dolphin and Seal delayed

BYD's local distributor has confirmed the Seal and Dolphin EVs will become available to order later than planned, with 2023 now the target. Get all the details, and quotes, at the link below.

November 27: BYD Dolphin spotted in Sydney

The upcoming 2023 BYD Dolphin electric hatch, confirmed for Australia, has been spied in Sydney this week by Twitter user Lachlan Smith.

Full Australian details are still to come, but earlier discussions with Wheels Media in August saw Luke Todd, managing director of BYD's Australian distributor EVDirect, confirm that pre-orders will begin before the end of 2022.

Given it is almost December, those plans may have changed, and we will update this story as more details become available.

What is the BYD Dolphin?

As reported previously, the BYD Dolphin is a small Yaris-sized hatch. Although not confirmed, it is expected to debut as Australia's first electric vehicle to be available at a price point in the $30,000 range.

Continue reading for further details on BYD's model expansion in Australia.

The story to here

August 2: 2023 BYD Dolphin and Seal confirmed for Australia, pre-orders to commence later this year


  • 2023 BYD Dolphin and Seal confirmed for Australia
  • Pre-orders to commence later this year
  • Other models arriving locally, including potential ute and large SUV

EVDirect, the local third-party distributor for Chinese electric vehicle brand BYD, has confirmed the BYD Dolphin hatchback and BYD Seal sedan will arrive in the first half of 2023.

Speaking with Wheels following a media event at Eager Automotive's 'Automall' in Brisbane's Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, EVDirect managing director Luke Todd reiterated that pre-orders for both models will commence by the end of 2022.

BYD Japanese Launch Atto 3

BYD vehicles will be available for purchase online or at select physical dealerships operated by Eagers Automotive, with the Atto 3 small electric SUV set to arrive locally in the coming weeks.

Other models, including an electric dual-cab ute and large SUV, are tipped to arrive in Australia in the coming years.

2023 BYD Seal Atto 4 01

Todd said the company expects a production capacity for each of 3000 per month, which is anticipated to be filled based on current demand for the Atto 3.

However, the units are likely to be spread out to customers over several months, with monthly VFACTS data measured by vehicle registrations – but still comfortably placing BYD within the Top 20 brands.

As reported, the BYD Seal is rival for the top-selling Tesla Model 3, with sales kicking off this week in China. The smaller Dolphin hatchback is roughly the size of a Toyota Yaris and is poised to become Australia's cheapest electric vehicle, kicking off in the low- to mid-$30,000 range.

For further information, check out our previous interview with EVDirect managing director Luke Todd below.

2022 BYD Atto 7

April 5: BYD plans aggressive model expansion in Australia


  • Medium-sized dual cab ute exists and will be unveiled next year
  • Seal and Dolphin available for pre-order this year
  • $200m green bond to fund expansion

BYD’s Australian distributor, EVDirect, is planning an aggressive expansion in the local market as the Blade battery-powered Atto 3 gets a strong start in online orders despite no cars arriving until at least July.

Speaking to Wheels during our time with the left-hand-drive evaluation Atto 3, EVDirect CEO Luke Todd outlined BYD’s plans over the next 18 months.

As expected, the Dolphin hatchback will be available for pre-order later in 2022, although he expects a new name for the small car.

After a year of speculation that the Atto 3 would start in the mid-$30,000s, it’s likely that the Mazda 2-sized Dolphin will be the one to dip into that more affordable price bracket.

UPDATE: We've now driven the new electric BYD Atto 3 SUV. Read and watch our review at the link below.

2022 BYD Atto 27

Following on from that, the Seal sports sedan – yet to be officially unveiled, but already caught by spy cameras – Todd also expects a new name and pre-orders by the end of the year. The unveiling is likely to occur during April, with Chinese market cars featuring single and dual motor variants.

The Seal shares the Atto’s e-Platform 3.0 architecture, as well as its Blade battery technology, and is positioned in the same sort of space as the much-loved, but under-bought, Kia Stinger.

Possibly the most enticing prospect in the BYD line-up is the medium-sized dual cab ute, which doesn’t yet have a name.

“It’s real,” said Mr Todd. “It’s under development and I’ve seen it. We’d be looking to open pre-orders for it in 2023 for deliveries in late 2023.”

An electric ute to go up against Ranger, HiLux and Triton would no doubt be wildly popular, particularly as fuel prices hover well over the two-dollar mark and the obvious benefits of a power supply on wheels would be very appealing – not just to tradies, but a variety of mobile businesses.


Todd also explained why the Atto 3 would, initially at least, be largely unchanged from its home market specification. There won’t be a local Australian market tune for the suspension, steering or brakes – save for some minor changes that aren’t hard to integrate into the dedicated right-hand-drive production line.

“We have a limited scope to modify the car, but we make changes where we can. This is balanced against the high production we want, so we want to get the balance right.”

A lot has happened since the Atto 3’s launch in Sydney with high demand for the compact SUV that has prompted the fast-tracking of expansion plans.

To “build robustness” in the local operation, EVDirect is looking to raise $200 million via a green bond. A green bond is funded by both private and institutional investors and made available only to sustainable businesses that meet certain criteria.

“There are seventeen UN sustainability pillars and we tick almost every one of them.”

Archive Whichcar 2021 02 01 Misc 2021 BYD Han 24

EVDirect’s servicing partnership with MyCar has already expanded beyond the original eight locations to a planned 30. MyCar – formerly known as Kmart Tyre and Auto – had lined up a selection of sites to deliver and service BYD cars, but the pre-orders suggested more would be required and further sites are under evaluation as MyCar itself builds new locations.

Todd also confirmed a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with Eagers Automotive, a publicly-listed car dealership network, but said he was unable to comment further due to rules around public disclosure that could affect the company’s share price.

BYD’s first publicly-available model will start arriving in July at the rate of 1500 per month, with the capacity to expand to double that number if required.

Read and watch our review here.



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