As US hikes tariffs on Chinese EVs, BYD launches BYD Shark pickup in Mexico for 53,400 USD

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BYD launched its first electric pickup truck in Mexico for 899,980 Mexican pesos (53,400 USD). The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) packs dual motors with 429 horsepower and a 5.7 second acceleration time from 0 to 100km/h (0 to 62 mph).

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BYD called the event a global debut. It is the first time the Shenzhen-based automaker has launched its electric car overseas before China.

BYD Shark sits on the DMO platform, which is BYD’s in-house developed PHEV platform dedicated to off-road vehicles, based on DM-p, which is a platform that underpins most of its 4WD hybrids in China. The DM stands for dual mode.

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BYD Shark is a proper large truck with a length of nearly 5.5 meters (220 inches) and 5 seats. The dimensions are 5457/1971/1925 mm (length/width/height), and the wheelbase is 3260mm. That translates to 214.8/77.6/75.8 inches and a 128.3 inch wheelbase.

The PHEV truck has a towing capacity of 2,500 kg (5,512 lbs) and a max payload of 835 kg (1,841 lbs). The loading volume is 1,450 liters (51.2 cubic feet).

The front motor has 170 kW power and 310 Nm peak torque, while the rear motor has an output of 150 kW and 340 Nm torque. The whole electric powertrain has a maximum power of 320 kW (429 hp) and 650 Nm peak torque. Shark can sprint 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds. The e-motors are mated by 1.5L turbo ICE.

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The electricity is stored in BYD’s LFP Blade battery with a capacity of 29.58 kWh. It provides the pure electric range of 100 km under NEDC conditions and 840 km with full battery and tank. The NEDC fuel consumption is 7.5L/100 km.

Inside the car, as in all BYD’s EVs, you will find a rotable central control screen. The size is 12.8″ and is complemented by 10.25″ instrument panel in front of the driver. Shark’s interior has many physical buttons on the steering wheel and central console, where the gear selector is located.

BYD Shark interior with two LCDs, lots of buttons, and the gear selector on the central tunnel. Credit: BYD

BYD Shark will compete with the Ford Ranger PHEV and Toyota Hilux in Mexico. Stella Li, BYD America’s CEO, previously confirmed that BYD has no plans to sell any EVs in the US. Which is not entirely true.

Li most likely meant passenger vehicles, as BYD has had an electric bus plant in Lancaster, California, since 2012 and is one of the largest electric bus makers in the US. In November last year, BYD won the contract for electric school buses in California.

BYD’s US-made electric school bus. Credit: BYD

On May 14, US President Joe Biden announced tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles import would rise to 100%, quadrupling the current tariff of 25%.

Editor’s comment

BYD plans to make Shark its first global EV, as the next stop is Australia, followed by other international markets. In China, pickup trucks are not as popular as they are not rated as standard passenger vehicles like SUVs, sedans, or MPVs but as light vans, which brings several regulatory hurdles for potential buyers. Geely learned that the hard way as it launched its own pickup truck brand called Radar. However, its first and yet only vehicle, Radar RD6, didn’t sell well.

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    • I am sure BYD can tweak it for local markets. You do sacrifice ride/handling/offroad capability somewhat for increased payload. For comparison, the F150 Lightning starts below this at 751 kg payload and tops out just over 1000kg. The Ranger Raptor (closest competitor for size and power) has 640 kg payload while the F150 Raptor has slightly less (1400 lbs/635 kg). Meanwhile the top F150 trim has 2445 lbs, (1109 kg). I am also confident that BYD can offer a tow package for markets that want one. If we have learned one thing from BYD, they seem to have no problem with quickly coming out with iterations to fit market niches.


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