North Korean 720 km range Madusan EV is a BYD Han

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Recently circulating on Weibo is a video of a North Korean electric car. However, the car is actually a rebadged BYD Han. Despite the video referring to the car as the Madusan various aspects give the game away. The video gives the range of the cars as 720 km and the dragon face and Chinese knot tail lights show the car is a Han.

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The badges however have been changed and Chinese media reports that Madusan is a North Korean company specializing in car imports. Fast Technology quotes the company profile as saying “We are actively importing and selling electric vehicles through cooperation and exchanges with well-known overseas electric vehicle manufacturers and service companies.”

Little is known about the Madusan deal although the full name of the company is reported by South Korean media to be Madusan Economic Federation. The Korea Herald describes it as a North Korean foreign trade organization established in 2018. South Korean media reports the car video coming from a nearly eight minute long video posted on YouTube on June 14. However, although the video shown by Chinese media has the same pictures the YouTube one lacks the Korean voiceover present in the one posted on Weibo.

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License plate reads Madusan Electric Vehicle

The complete video talks about a number of activities that Madusan is reportedly involved in which are claimed to include mobile phones, mining and precious metals.

Last year the Madusan Electric Vehicle Exhibition Center opened on Hwasong Street in Pyongyang.

This is not the first time a BYD car has been seen in North Korea. Way back in 2011 we reported on BYD F6 cars being used as police cars during Kim Jong-il’s funeral.

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Chinese cars also have an even longer history in North Korea and some have been produced there from CKD kits. Pyongwha was one of the most successful North Korean car companies and various attempts were made by the company to build Chinese cars from kits and also import Chinese cars including Volkswagens from FAW. Many of the early Chinese cars produced in North Korea came from Shugang, later known as Huanghai. However, more successful were vehicles from the Brilliance Group. Cars included the Brilliance BS4, more successful still was the assembly of Jinbei vans, which themselves were based on the Toyota HiAce.

Editor’s note:

Interestingly The Korea Herald poured scorn on whether the car was even an EV due to the reported 720 km range being much greater than anything claimed by South Korean cars.

Sources: Fast Technology, The Korea Herald, Korea JoongAng Daily, China Car History,

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