BYD unveils new $230,000 EV supercar — and Elon Musk says the Chinese automaker could 'pretty much demolish most other companies'


Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD, well-known outside the United States for its inexpensive cars, has entered the high-priced sports car market.

The company unveiled the Yangwang U9 with a list price of more than $233,000, geared to give high-end brands such as Ferrari competition when it releases in the summer.

Officials there — and at Lamborghini, Tesla, and elsewhere — better not take BYD lightly. That’s because the company has a proven ability to carve out market share.

BBC reported that BYD sold more EVs than juggernaut Tesla during the last quarter of 2023, thanks in part to cars including the Dolphin, now selling for under $14,000 in foreign markets. It’s part of a growing EV sector that’s helping us transition to a cleaner transportation system.

Like the less-expensive models, the U9 won’t immediately be available in the U.S. Fortune reported that initial releases will happen in China only as the automaker rolls out its so-called supercar.

“This is a change for BYD as the company hopes to capture more of the high-end market,” TheStreet’s Remy Blaire said in a video report from Wall Street.

It’s a mean-looking ride, smartly cut with curves and angles, all set on a lean and low profile. The performance should pass muster for speedsters, as the U9 can reach 192 mph. It can do zero to 62 mph in only 2.36 seconds, all per BYD.

The interior also has a sleek and modern design, with all the high-tech features you’d expect, including two 14-way adjustable seats and a high-end audio system.

The company describes the EV as “street savvy and playful.”

On the efficiency side, the U9’s range is around 289 miles. The lithium-iron phosphate battery can charge from 30% to 80% in about 10 minutes, TheStreet reported.

A video clip of the U9 shows it doing an impressive light show and maneuvering, drawing the attention of onlookers who appear to be catching video clips of the spectacle with their phones. It’s part of a mode that allows the vehicle to “jump, shake, and dance” along to pre-programmed songs, according to TheStreet.

But it’s BYD’s competitors that should be shaking, as it could only be a matter of time before the Dolphin, U9, and other models are on roads stateside.

“I think they will have significant success outside of China depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in TheStreet’s story as part of comments from a recent earnings call. “Frankly, I think if there are not trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other companies in the world.”

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