This Compact Electric SUV Makes Tesla’s Model Y Feel Unaffordable

It's not likely that the BYD Yuan Up is coming to the U.S., though.

BYD's Yuan UP compact electric SUV
BYD / Weibo

Another day, another reasonably-priced EV that won’t be coming to the U.S.

Chinese EV maker BYD teased its latest compact all-electric SUV called the Yuan Up on Weibo. While the teaser didn’t fully reveal the exterior, the company’s regulatory filings paint a better picture of its upcoming EV.

There’s no standout feature with the Yuan Up since it just looks like any other decently-sized SUV. However, its rumored starting price is something to note. According to CarNewsChina, the upcoming BYD EV is expected to be priced under $14,000. That’s less than a third of Tesla’s most affordable SUV, the Model Y which currently starts at $43,990.

We need more affordably-priced EVs like BYD’s Yuan Up in the U.S.


No Frills Five-Seater SUV

From the regulatory filings, we know that the BYD Yuan Up will come with either a 70kW motor or a 130kW motor that tops out at 100 mph. The compact SUV will measure 170 inches long, 72 inches wide, and just about 66 inches tall, while still being able to fit five people inside. Other than that, BYD hasn’t disclosed crucial specs like range, battery size, or charging times.

BYD has plenty of experience working within the compact SUV segment, but the Yuan Up differs from its Seagull and Dolphin EVs. The Yuan Up has a boxier SUV look, while BYD’s previous compact SUVs lean towards a hatchback. BYD also added some accents to differentiate the Yuan Up, like a rear lightbar, hidden door handles, and a rear roof spoiler.

BYD’s Yuan Up compact SUV could release as early as March.


Cutthroat Pricing

BYD hasn’t confirmed the pricing for the Yuan Up yet, but we have some clues from its other EVs introduced in the Yuan family. BYD previously released the Yuan Plus, which is marketed as the Atto 3 in other countries, with a starting price of $32,350. Later, the EV maker launched the far more affordable Yuan Pro, which starts at around $13,400.

We’re expecting the Yuan Up to stick around a $14,000 price tag, which no EV maker in the U.S. can even get close to. Even the current 2023 Chevy Bolt starts at $26,500. Of course, BYD likely has no plans to bring the Yuan Up to the U.S., but the compact SUV can still challenge Tesla in the heated Chinese EV market. Tesla is already looking into developing a more affordable EV that starts at around $25,000 but it could have a hard time going up against the far cheaper Yuan Up.

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