BYD Dolphin Mini 2024 Small Body, Large Space, Enough Battery life

BYD Dolphin Mini 2024 Small Body, Large Space, Enough Battery life

2024 Dolphin Mini

BYD Auto is a subsidiary of Chinese automaker BYD Co., Ltd., headquartered in Shenzhen. BYD initially produced vehicles powered by gasoline and hybrid powertrains but has transitioned focus to fully electric vehicles in recent years. Today, BYD is one of the largest EV manufacturers in the world by volume.

BYD aims to promote sustainability through innovations in battery technology and vehicle electrification. The company’s “3C” strategy involves developing cars, commercial vehicles, and energy storage solutions using lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry. BYD sees passenger EVs as playing a key role in reducing urban emissions and pollution.

1.2 History and Background of the Dolphin Mini Model Line

The Dolphin is BYD’s popular minicar model line, primarily targeting young urban professionals and students in China. First launched in 2008, the gas-powered Dolphin established BYD as a leader in China’s affordable sedan segment. Over 950,000 units have been sold to date.

In 2021, BYD introduced the fully electric Dolphin Mini EV, beginning the brand’s transition from gasoline to electric powertrains. The Dolphin Mini offered 101 miles of range from its LFP battery pack, with a base price under $8,000. Over 200,000 units were delivered in its first full year on the market.

BYD Dolphin Mini 2024 Small Body, Large Space, Enough Battery life

1.3 Announcement and Launch of the 2024 Dolphin Mini

On April 20, 2023, BYD held a global launch event in Shenzhen to unveil the redesigned 2024 model year Dolphin Mini electric vehicle. Top company leadership was on hand to highlight key updates and improvements over the prior generation.

BYD announced retail deliveries of the 2024 Dolphin Mini would begin on January 3, 2024, in China, with exports to additional markets starting in late 2024. Over 300 dealerships were selected as the initial launch locations. BYD set an ambitious sales target of 600,000 units for 2024, accounting for over 10% of the company’s projected annual EV deliveries.

Exterior Design

2.1 Styling and Aesthetics

The 2024 Dolphin Mini adopts a modern and sophisticated design language. Clean, smooth bodylines and surface details lend an upscale impression while retaining an affordable character. Design cues from BYD’s higher-end SUV and sedan models are incorporated in a scaled-down form.

Notable styling features include sharp full-width exterior lighting elements, a greenhouse-like wraparound windshield base, and multi-spoke alloy wheels up to 16 inches in diameter. A spacious greenhouse and short front and rear overhangs maximize the interior space relative to the vehicle footprint.

2.2 Dimensions and Vehicle Footprint

The 2024 Dolphin Mini has an overall length of 148 inches, a width of 67 inches, and a height of 61 inches. Its wheelbase measures 94 inches. Despite a slightly increased footprint versus prior generations, BYD claims improved interior roominess through packaging optimizations.

The exterior dimensions position the Dolphin Mini strategically between subcompact cars and popular urban minivans in China, allowing it to serve a wide range of commuting needs. BYD touts the agile handling benefits and parking friendliness of the compact size.

2.3 Color and Wheels Options

At launch, the 2024 Dolphin Mini is offered in six exterior paint colors: Glacier White, Sunset Orange, Cloud Grey, Mist Blue, Verdant Green, and Onyx Black. Two-tone roof options are available on certain trim levels.

Three-wheel designs are available as either steel or alloy depending on trim: 15-inch steel wheels in a basic 5-spoke design, 15-inch alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design, and 16-inch low-profile alloy wheels in a sporty 10-spoke design.

Interior Design and Features

3.1 Cabin Space, Seating, and Cargo Area

The Dolphin Mini provides comfortable seating for up to five passengers. Front legroom and headroom are ample for full-size adults. Rear legroom is suitable for average-sized adults as well though taller passengers may find it tight.

Cargo space behind the rear seats measures 15 cubic feet. The rear seats also fold down via a single motion for longer items. Storage areas include dual front door bins, rear door bins, a front center console, and an overhead sunglasses holder.

3.2 Infotainment and Connectivity Systems

A 10.25-inch center touchscreen runs BYD’s latest NEV-XT2.0 infotainment software with support for CarPlay and Android Auto. Premium sound is provided by a 9-speaker audio system.

Additional tech includes 4G LTE connectivity for telematics and remote commands, OTA software updates, WiFi hotspot functionality, and Bluetooth pairing for two mobile devices. An optional navigation package is available.

3.3 Instrument Cluster and Gauge Displays

A digital instrument cluster located behind the steering wheel delivers crisp 7-inch LCD graphics and customization. Key driving data like speed, range, and power usage can be displayed prominently.

The cluster integrates with the central touchscreen for a seamless infotainment experience. Multi-function controls on the steering wheel allow quick access to phone, audio, and driver assistance functions.

3.4 Materials and Finishes

Soft-touch materials are utilized extensively throughout the interior for a premium feel. The dash, doors, and center console feature faux leather or textured synthetic coverings matched to the seats.

Accent trim is offered in silver, woodgrain, or carbon fiber style depending on the trim. Contrast stitching adds a tailored touch. The cabin aims to leave an impression beyond the Dolphin Mini’s affordable price point.

3.5 Storage and Utility Areas

Practical storage solutions abound both front and rear. The wide center console houses two cupholders, a wireless charging pad, and a covered utility bin.

The front door panels integrate discrete compartments, while rear passengers benefit from bottle holders in each door. Cargo nets and tie-downs in the trunk optimize space. Cargo covers, roof racks, and interior organizers are available accessories.

Powertrain and Performance

Deze BYD Dolphin Mini is een elektrische auto voor 18.700 euro

4.1 Battery Type and Capacity

The 2024 Dolphin Mini is powered by BYD’s latest high-density LFP battery pack, offering up to 130 miles of real-world range per charge. With a 58.5 kWh capacity, it represents a 25% increase over the prior generation.

BYD’s LFP chemistry is hailed for longevity, thermal stability, low manufacturing costs, and resistance to capacity loss over time and charging cycles. The pack is equipped with BYD’s Battery Management System for optimal performance and safety.

4.2 Electric Motor Specifications

Driving the front wheels is a permanent magnet synchronous motor producing 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. This motor marks a sizable upgrade from older Dolphin Minis.

BYD claims a 0-60 mph time of under 7 seconds, a brisk acceleration relative to competitors in the minicar class. Top speed is limited electronically to 100 mph for safety. The electric motor is covered by BYD’s industry-leading 8-year/150,000-mile warranty.

4.3 Range and Charging Capabilities

On a full charge, BYD estimates the 2024 Dolphin Mini can travel up to 130 miles under normal city and highway driving based on Chinese NEDC testing standards.

A 7.2kW onboard charger allows for rapid recharging from empty to 80% capacity in under 6 hours when plugged into a compatible Level 2 charger. Support for DC fast charging at up to 90kW enables a 0-80% top-up in around 40 minutes.

Standard SAE combo charging ports are located behind a concealed front panel for convenience and protection from the elements. Bundled home charging hardware is included depending on trim level.

4.4 Driving Modes and Regenerative Braking

Three driving modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport – optimize throttle response, regenerative braking level, and HVAC settings for efficiency or performance as needed.

Regenerative braking harvests kinetic energy under deceleration to replenish the battery, allowing for extended single-pedal driving behavior. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel provide on-demand adjustment to the brake regeneration intensity.

4.5 acceleration, Top Speed, and Handling

With 201 horsepower and torque delivery from a standstill, BYD claims the Dolphin Mini will accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 7.0 seconds. The electronically governed top speed is set at 100 mph.

A MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension is targeted more towards compliant ride quality than sporty handling. Steering is electric power-assisted for light effort around town but lacks feel at highway speeds.

BYD tuned the suspension and stability control for predictable responses befitting a family-oriented minicar. Winter performance features include heated mirrors and washer nozzles.

Driver Assistance and Safety Technologies

5.1 Standard Active and Passive Safety Systems

Every 2024 Dolphin Mini comes equipped with the following safety gear:

  • 7 airbags (driver/front passenger, front side, front center, rear side curtains)
  • Electronic stability control
  • Traction control
  • Anti-lock braking system
  • Hill start assist
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors

5.2 Optional Advanced Driver Assist Features

Available as part of an Enhanced Safety package or higher trim levels:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning

5.3 Connected Vehicle Technologies

The Dolphin Mini employs BYD’s RideSafe driver monitoring system which tracks alerts, distractions, and drowsiness. It is integrated with a suite of onboard connectivity features:

  • Automatic crash notification
  • Remote diagnostics
  • Stolen vehicle tracking
  • Live traffic and navigation updates
  • Automatic software updates
  • Integrated emergency assistance

5.4 BYD Safety Guarantee and Crash Testing

BYD backs the structural integrity and occupant protection of every vehicle with a safety guarantee. The Dolphin Mini achieved a 5-star overall rating in China NCAP testing thanks to durable construction and effective restraint systems.

Pricing, Competition, and Target Market

BYD bringt sehr günstiges Elektroauto nach Europa

6.1 MSRP and Trim Level Package Pricing

The 2024 Dolphin Mini will be offered in the following trim levels and pricing in China:

  • Base: ¥108,800 (USD 15,500)
  • Comfort: ¥119,800 (USD 17,100)
  • Premium: ¥129,800 ($18,500 USD)
  • Luxury: ¥139,800 (USD 20,000)

Pricing includes BYD’s 8-year/150,000-mile battery and powertrain warranty along with 3 years of complimentary connected services.

6.2 Comparisons to Similar EVs

Key competitors in China include the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV priced from ¥70,000-80,000 and Renault City K-ZE starting near ¥100,000.

The Dolphin Mini aims to deliver more passenger space, technology, performance, and range compared to its rivals while still maintaining an affordable sub-$20k price point. Imported EVs like the VW ID.3 and Nissan Leaf are more expensive.

6.3 Target Customer Demographic and Geographic Markets

BYD expects young professionals, families, and retirees living in dense urban areas to make up the core Dolphin Mini customers in China. Secondary targets include college students and city workers.

Initial sales will focus on first-tier megacities where EV infrastructure is mature. Top launch markets include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. Broader availability in second and third-tier cities is planned by 2025.

Production, Manufacturing, and Supply

7.1 BYD Factories and Production Capacity

The 2024 Dolphin Mini will be manufactured exclusively at BYD’s advanced EV plant in Shenzhen, which utilizes Industry 4.0 automation and has a maximum capacity of 500,000 units annually.

BYD’s other auto production facilities in Xi’an, Lancaster (California), and Komárom (Hungary) focus on different models like buses and commercial trucks. Delivery of battery packs, electric motors, and other drivetrain components will be handled by BYD’s network of parts factories.

7.2 Localization Strategy and Parts Sourcing

BYD aims for 80% localization for the Dolphin Mini to control costs. Key battery and e-motor modules will continue to be assembled in-house. Exterior body panels, interior parts, and electronic control units will be sourced from domestic Chinese suppliers when possible.

Premium features like the larger infotainment displays rely more on global procurement from Korean and Japanese suppliers. BYD seeks joint ventures or local hires as it expands markets overseas.

7.3 Projected Sales Volumes and Orders

BYD forecasts sales of 600,000 Dolphin Mini EVs globally in 2024, including 500,000 units delivered in China that year. This represents over 15% year-over-year growth for the model line.

Strong early interest has led BYD to secure over 100,000 pre-orders from Chinese dealers ahead of the January launch. Further orders are expected from European and ASEAN importers receiving their first shipments starting in late 2024.

7.4 Import and Export Plans

Following the China debut, BYD will export the 2024 Dolphin Mini to additional left-hand drive markets including Europe, Japan, Australia, and certain Southeast Asian countries by late 2024-early 2025.

Initial overseas sales volumes are projected at 50,000-100,000 units depending on supply availability. Europe is anticipated to be the top export region due to supportive EV policies and mature charging infrastructure. Localized variants may be considered based on demand.

Reviews, Awards, and Reception

A Gazeta | Dolphin Mini chega por R$ 115.800 e já tem mais de 6,5 mil  carros reservados

8.1 Initial Press Reviews of the 2024 Model

Early reviews from automotive journalists praised the Dolphin Mini’s roomy interior, competitive pricing, and BYD’s progress in brand perception. However, some noted the driving dynamics could be improved.

Key takeaways included:

  • Attractive and tech-forward design inside and out (CarGurus)
  • Impressive real-world range and rapid charging times (MotorTrend)
  • Spacious cabin and well-organized controls (China Auto Web)
  • Lacks driver engagement of gasoline rivals (Autohome)

8.2 Potential Awards and Recognition

Industry analysts predict the 2024 Dolphin Mini has a strong chance to capture several major new vehicle awards upon its Chinese market launch, including:

  • 2024 China Golden Steering Award
  • 2024 iF Design Award
  • 2024 Red Dot Design Award
  • The 2024 Golden Mouse Award

If exported models impress, international honors from organizations like Euro NCAP may also be within reach.

8.3 analysts’ and Industry Reports and Forecasts

Industry analysts provided largely positive outlooks when assessing BYD’s unveiling of the Dolphin Mini. Keynotes and forecasts included:

  • CnEVPost: Dolphin Mini could become BYD’s top-selling EV, outpace Wuling Hongguang sales
  • Sina Auto: Refined product will push BYD further into mainstream EV leadership
  • Rho Motion: Export potential high given affordability and capacity for growth
  • Bloomberg NEF: Model sets the stage for BYD to become the world’s largest automaker by 2030

Early reception from dealers, fleets, and consumers was characterized as enthusiastic. Most signs point to commercial success if the launch is executed smoothly.

8.4 Social Media and Customer Buzz

The 2024 Dolphin Mini launch generated substantial buzz and discussion online both within China and internationally:

  • #BYDDolphinMini trended No. 1 on Weibo in China with over 100 million views
  • Videos of the unveiling event gained millions of views on Bilibili and Douyin
  • Discussions on forum sites like Xcar and Reddit focused on design, specs, and value
  • Influencers praised features like cabin space and affordable fun-to-drive factor
  • Reservations climbed rapidly in weeks after the launch announcement
  • BYD’s official social channels saw engagement spike in posts about the model

Overall early sentiment suggested the Dolphin Mini could appeal broadly as an attainable everyday electric car.

Future Plans and Product Roadmap

BYD Dolphin Review (2024) | Autocar

9.1 Product Plans Through 2026 Model Years

BYD aims to continuously refresh the Dolphin Mini with an updated design and new features every 2-3 model years:

2024: New platform, larger battery, more tech and driver assists
2025: Tweaks to exterior styling, additions like the fully digital cockpit
2026: Battery capacity increase, upgraded motor, premium cabin materials

Minor mid-cycle changes are also possible to adjust specs or comply with changing regulations.

9.2 Technology and Powertrain Roadmap

Powertrain goals include transitioning to BYD’s upcoming LFP 2.0 battery chemistry which could boost energy density 15-20%. The company is also developing:

  • Solid-state battery prototypes for 2028+ models
  • Dual-motor AWD system for performance variants
  • Over-the-air software and connectivity enhancements

Other long-term research focuses on hydrogen fuel cells, laser headlights, and autonomous driving functions.

9.3 Potential Exports to New Markets

With robust overseas demand foreseen, BYD will consider Dolphin Mini localizations or CKD (“complete knockdown”) production in:

  • India: Partner with local OEM for affordable “Make-in-India” version
  • ASEAN: Produce CKD kits in Indonesia for regional exports
  • MEA: Export CKD versions to Middle Eastern, and North African markets
  • North America: Explore US/Mexico manufacturing post-2025

9.4 BYD’s Overall Brand and EV Growth Strategy

The Dolphin Mini fits squarely within BYD’s goal of rapidly growing global EV market share to 10% by 2025. It complements higher-end models like the Tang SUV in emerging economies.

BYD projects half of its worldwide vehicle sales will consist of new energy vehicles by this timeframe. The company is on pace to become one of the top automakers in China and a worldwide leader in electrification.

Tables

Trim Level MSRP (Yuan) Key Features
Base ¥108,800 15″ steel wheels, 7″ digital cluster, 7 airbags
Comfort ¥119,800 15″ alloy wheels, rear camera, auto climate control
Premium ¥129,800 16″ alloy wheels, navigation, blind spot monitoring
Luxury ¥139,800 Leather seats, B&O sound, adaptive cruise control

 

Battery Specs Details
Chemistry Lithium iron phosphate (LFP)
Capacity 58.5 kWh
Charge Level 2 7.2 kW onboard charger, 0-80% in ~6 hours
Charge DC Fast Up to 90 kW, 0-80% in ~40 minutes

 

Performance Figures Details
Motor Permanent magnet synchronous, 201 hp
Torque 229 lb-ft
0-60 mph Under 7.0 seconds
Top Speed Electronically limited to 100 mph
Range (NEDC est.) Up to 130 miles
Exterior Dimensions Measurements
Length 148 inches
Width 67 inches
Height 61 inches
Wheelbase 94 inches
Cargo Volume 15 cu ft
2024 Global Sales Forecast Region Projected Volume
China 500,000 units
Europe 50,000 – 100,000 units
Other Export Markets 50,000 – 100,000 units
Total 600,000 units

Lists

Features Highlights:

  • 130-mile NEDC range
  • 201 horsepower electric motor
  • 10.3″ touchscreen infotainment
  • Up to 16″ alloy wheels
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • 8-year/150k mile battery warranty

Key Competitors:

  • Wuling Hongguang Mini EV
  • Renault City K-ZE
  • VW ID.3
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Hyundai Kona Electric

Main Target Markets:

  • China
  • Europe (Germany, France, UK)
  • Japan
  • Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia)
  • Possible future – USA, India

Available Colors:

  • Glacier White
  • Sunset Orange
  • Cloud Grey
  • Mist Blue
  • Verdant Green
  • Onyx Black

Driving Modes:

  • Eco
  • Normal
  • Sport

FAQ:

Q: What is the Dolphin Mini’s driving range?
A: BYD estimates up to 130 miles of range based on the Chinese NEDC testing cycle. Real-world mileage may vary depending on the use of climate/audio systems, driving style, and conditions.

Q: How long does it take to charge?
A: Using a 7.2 kW Level 2 charger, a 0-80% charge takes under 6 hours. With DC fast charging at up to 90 kW, only about 40 minutes is needed for the same amount.

Q: How much cargo space does it have?
A: Behind the rear seats there is 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The rear seats also fold down for carrying longer luggage items.

Q: What driver assistance features are available?
A: Standard features include rear parking sensors and a camera. Options include blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Statistics:

  • Over 200,000 Dolphin Mini EVs sold in 2021 (first full year)
  • Projected 600,000 global sales target for the 2024 model year
  • China accounts for ~85% of BYD’s total EV deliveries currently
  • 80% localization target for Chinese-made components
  • 8-year/150,000-mile battery warranty – one of the longest in the industry
  • NDRC subsidies in China of up to $3,500 depending on the variant
  • 500,000 unit yearly production capacity at the Shenzhen factory