The BYD Dolphin is the second step in the Chinese giant’s plans to become a major presence in the UK. Bobbing in the wake of the BYD Atto 3 crossover, it's an electric hatchback sized roughly between the Vauxhall Corsa Electric and the Volkswagen ID 3.
Yes, we've driven the BYD Dolphin before, and it was also in Spain, but our earlier drive was a quick taster, limited to two laps of a race track. And as much as I would support a one-make race series, I suspect that’s not how most owners will use their Dolphins. Now that we’ve driven a production car on the road, we can give a fuller verdict.
Under the body – which doesn’t really look like other BYDs, apart from sharing a weapons-grade inoffensiveness – sits the e-Platform 3.0 with BYD’s own lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) Blade. This is a cobalt-free battery that has its cells arranged in strips along the length of the car, rather than in the more traditional cylindrical or cuboid cells. It’s available with either 44.9kWh or 60.4kWh of usable capacity.
How much power and range it has depends on the version. The entry-level Active makes do with just 94bhp and ekes 211 miles out of the small battery. Boost has 174bhp for 193 miles from the same battery. Comfort and Design both have the same drivetrain as the Atto 3 (60.4kWh and 201bhp) for 265 miles.