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BYD Dolphin is very much like its namesake and these are 7 reasons why

Wherefore art thou, Dolphin?

The BYD Dolphin made a splash when it landed on Singapore shores recently. People were immediately drawn to its name, which is unusual for a car. Then again, BYD has set a precedence with uncommon nomenclature – the Atto 3 comes to mind.

How did the BYD Dolphin get its name?

According to BYD, the rounded profile and side silhouette of the BYD Dolphin, its first battery electric hatchback, look like a dolphin breaching. It also inspired the design for the interior; the curves in the cockpit are meant to give the impression of waves. Other imaginative touches include the flipper-like door handles. By the way, we also spotted dolphin stamps in the car tyres.

But besides the “Ocean Aesthetics” design concept as BYD calls it, are there shared characteristics between the BYD Dolphin and its marine namesake? We dive in …

BYD Dolphin in pink at Punggol Waterway

The BYD Dolphin at its launch at Waterway Point in Singapore (Photo: Vantage Automotive Limited)

1. Small but agile

Most dolphins are small (we are not counting killer whales), measuring less than 3 metres in length. While usually slow swimmers, some dolphin species are capable of short bursts of speeds of 30km/hr or faster.

The BYD Dolphin is one of the smallest EVs around, measuring a compact 4290mm long, 1770mm wide and 1570mm tall. This COE Category A car may not be the fastest EV around (0-100km/h in 12.3 seconds) but the BYD Dolphin has a battery range of up to 340km, which is more than enough for driving around Singapore.

>>READ: Get the most range out of your electric vehicle

BYD Dolphin - rear seats

2. Friendliness

Dolphins are noted for their friendliness to humans. Despite its compact size, the BYD Dolphin has an impressive passenger-friendly cabin. Thanks to its 2,700mm-long wheelbase, the electric hatchback offers plenty of leg and head room. Tall passengers can sit in relative comfort in the rear compartment, and a flat floor gives middle-seat passengers more space as well. Those seated in front get to enjoy ventilated front seats, which is great given Singapore’s weather.

BYD Dolphin - boot

3. Storage

Speaking of space, did you know that dolphins have two stomachs? One is used to store food while the other is for digestion. [Ed’s note: The Asian foodie in me approves.]

The 345-litre boot of the BYD Dolphin can be expanded to 1,310 litres with the rear seats folded flat. There are also plenty of storage areas inside the cabin, from the large door pockets to a central covered storage cubby and a storage tray under the information screen.

BYD Dolphin - fun features

4. Fun factor

Most people also think of dolphins as playful creatures. The BYD Dolphin comes with a playful interior, with its many curves, dolphin motifs and interesting cabin colour combinations. Its 12.8-inch central infotainment touchscreen can be rotated to either landscape or portrait format. There is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, voice assistant, and it is capable of receiving over-the-air software updates.

5. Intelligent and safe

Dolphins are well-known for being highly intelligent. A little-known fact, however, is that these marine marvels sleep with only half their brain. The other part of the brain remains awake to help the dolphin breathe and stay alert to dangers in the environment.

The BYD Dolphin is the first model based on the automaker’s e-Platform 3.0 for pure electric vehicles. This new generation platform aims to help BYD develop more intelligent, more efficient, and safer EVs. Accordingly, the BYD Dolphin comes with a wide array of driver assistance and safety systems as standard features. These include adaptive intelligent cruise control with Stop & Go functionality; front and rear collision warning; lane departure and lane keeping warning and assistance, and blind spot detection.

BYD Dolphin charging

6. Charging and range

Dolphins need about 8 hours of sleep a day but due to their sleep pattern (with only half their brain resting), studies have shown that they can stay awake for at least two weeks straight.

The average distance covered by Singapore drivers is about 55km per day. With the BYD Dolphin’s range of up to 340km, you can easily go without charging it for a few days. Charging the BYD Dolphin can also be done rapidly. With DC charging at 60kW, battery power can go from 20% to 80% in just 33 minutes. With a 7kW AC charger, it will take about 7.5 hours for a full recharge.

>>READ: How to extend your EV battery life

7. Sounds

Dolphins communicate through various sounds and ultrasonic pulses. That means, they can be rather noisy creatures at times. While the BYD Dolphin like all EVs are virtually silent, it is also compulsory as a safety requirement that it comes with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) to warn pedestrians and cyclists of its presence. You do have to get used to the artificial sounds that come with driving it.

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Can you spot the dolphin?

Conclusion

These characteristics aside, the BYD Dolphin is a nifty and practical electric car that offers a comfortable and sustainable ride. It delivers a good range of up to 340km powered by its 44.9kWh LFP (and cobalt-free) battery. This BYD Blade Battery is considered one of the world’s safest, and the battery warranty is up to 6 years or 160,000km.

The BYD Dolphin is also the cheapest battery electric vehicle in the Singapore market at launch, with a list price of S$156,888* (including COE and S$25,000 VES rebate).

Test drive the BYD Dolphin at Vantage Automotive, at its authorised dealer MotorEast, or the experience store BYD by 1826.

* Pricing subject to change over time


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