International Finance

EV-maker BYD eyes Japan market


As the largest EV manufacturer in the world steps up its strategy to make its cars available globally, BYD Co.’s Japanese business has said it would start selling its first battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the nation in early 2023.

BYD, in which Berkshire Hathaway has a stake, said that it will begin selling the ATTO 3 electric sport utility vehicle in Japan starting from January 31. The automobile will cost 4.4 million yen (USD 32,735) and has a 485km (301 miles) cruising range.

In comparison, Nissan Motor Co.’s regular electric Leaf model costs roughly 3.7 million yen (USD 27,496) and has a cruising range of 322 kilometers (200 miles).

According to the company, BYD’s Japan division intends to launch two further models by the end of 2023 and open more than 100 dealerships by 2025 end.

In Japan, gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles continue to be more popular than BEVs. However, it is anticipated that the percentage of battery-powered vehicles will increase, as global automakers like BYD and Volkswagen enter the market.

According to Atsuki Tofukuji, CEO of BYD Auto Japan Inc., the company’s Japan division is keen to serve all 47 prefectures but is aiming to open temporary outlets in 22 locations beginning in late January.

“We hope that we can make our presence felt little by little as we work toward carbon neutrality and as our customers demand a variety of choices,” the company said.

Recently, green investors and activists have criticized Japanese manufacturers for not adopting BEVs quickly enough. In May, Toyota Motor Corp started leasing the bZ4X, the company’s first mass-produced fully electric car, in the domestic market for 106,700 yen (USD 792.28/month) for the first four years of a 10-year lease. Though, less than two months later, it was compelled to recall the model because of safety issues. It again resumed production in October.

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