BYD Dolphin EV is Full of Eastern Promise


By Breda Corrigan


The BYD brand may be a new entrant to the Irish new car market, but the Chinese company started in 1995 as a battery manufacturer and is now the world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles and power batteries. BYD employs more than 90,000 engineers – 30,000 of which have either a Masters or Honours degree, with the company granted an average of 15 global patents every day. BYD has successfully mastered the core technology in the new EV industrial chain, and that means that the power battery, electric motor, electric controller and conductor chips are all made in-house. In fact, over 70 percent of BYD’s vehicle components are self-supplied, creating a competitive advantage with regards to build time and margins. BYD’s head car designer is the highly-acclaimed Wolfgang Egger, whose notable creations include the stunning Alfa 8C Competizione and Alfa 156 during his time with Alfa Romeo, and the Q2 during his time with Audi. The German native leads a team of immensely talented and creative designers who have given the Dolphin a visually-appealing European look.

Current Trim Levels.

Presently, the BYD Dolphin is available in Comfort & Design trim levels, with lower-spec Active & Boost trim levels due to join the range soon. Both Comfort & Design variants are powered by the same 60.4kWh Blade battery that produces 201bhp (204PS) and 310Nm of instant torque. In keeping with the demands of modern family life, the only body style available in the Dolphin is a practical 5-door hatchback. 

Game-Changing EV Tech.

In terms of size, the Dolphin realistically sits between traditional B- and C-segment hatchbacks, being slightly longer than the Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208, but marginally shorter than a VW ID.3. The fully-electric BYD Dolphin may be relatively small in stature, but it is a car that the Chinese brand has big hopes for. The value-focused hatchback brings to three the number of BYD models currently available in Ireland, with the Atto 3 and Seal being the other two. Combining BYD’s game-changing EV technology with an abundance of standard equipment and its playful ‘Ocean Aesthetics’ design concept, the Dolphin represents what BYD says is ‘the epitome of safe, efficient and practical eco-friendly motoring, priced to make high-tech electric mobility accessible to more consumers’. The Dolphin’s rounded profile and side silhouette resemble what its designers call ‘the graceful lines of a leaping dolphin’. The Dolphin is available in a choice of single-tone and two-tone colour combinations (model dependent) that also echo the colours inside the car to create a feeling of exclusivity. Measuring 4,290 mm long, 1,570 mm high, and 1,770 mm wide, its 2,700 mm wheelbase and short front/rear overhangs combine to give it a more spacious appearance, optimised for space and passenger comfort.

BYD Dolphin

Highly-Efficient Blade Battery.

The Dolphin’s highly-efficient 60.4kWh Blade battery is a lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) battery which is manufactured by FinDreams Battery, a subsidiary of BYD, and it is claimed to be thinner and safer than typical EV batteries. It boasts a range of 427km (WLTP), with a 30% to 80% fast charging speed of 29 minutes. BYD claims that in a nail spike test where the battery is impaled with a nail, the Blade battery emitted no smoke or fire after being pierced, and its surface temperature reached only 30 to 60-degrees Celsius. In the same test, a three-layered lithium battery would exceed 500-degrees Celsius and subsequently burned. The e-Platform 3.0 modular car platform that underpins the Dolphin offers improved integration of BYD’s proprietary Blade battery technology with an improved pure electric frame with doubled torsional stiffness. It also features a more efficient 8-in-1 module for the drive system, along with a direct cooling and heating system for the battery pack to increase thermal efficiency by up to 20%. This platform is also used to underpin the BYD Atto 3, which was launched in Ireland in 2023, and the recently-launched BYD Seal.

Abundance of Safety Features.

Standard across the board is an abundance of safety and advanced driver assistance features. Cutting-edge lighting technology provides a broader beam of light to enhance visibility when driving at night, with High Beam Assist, Adaptive Front Headlights and Follow Me Home lighting as standard. All models come equipped with Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Brake, Lane Departure Prevention and Emergency Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Intelligent Cruise Control. A panoramic camera gives the driver 360-degree visibility for safe vehicle manoeuvring. Additional driver aids include Blind Spot Detection System, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Decent Control, Automatic Vehicle Hold, and Traffic Sign Recognition with Intelligent Speed Limit Control.

BYD Dolphin

Test Car.

My test car was a Dolphin Design in striking Surfing Blue and Urban Grey two-tone paintwork. In addition to a genuinely-impressive array of standard features in Comfort trim, key additional standard features in Design trim include a panoramic roof, a smartphone wireless charger and a choice of no-cost two-tone paint colour options. The 201bhp electric motor sends power to the Dolphin’s front wheels in a smooth and fuss-free manner, and a 0-100km/h sprint can be completed in just 7.0-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 160km/h (where permitted). The car steers in a reassuringly direct manner and there is plenty of grip from the tyres when cornering. Thanks to the Dolphin’s accomplished ride quality, the ergonomic cabin is a pleasurable place to be. The gear selector is located at the bottom of the centre console and it is a joy to use. You simply flick the selector forward for Drive and rearwards for Reverse, with the Park function activated by way of an adjacent push-button switch. Drivers can choose from Sport, Normal and Eco drive modes which alter the steering weight and throttle response but, no matter what mode is selected, the one thing that remains constant is the sprightly nature of the electric motor. The Dolphin is a relaxing car to drive through congested city streets, but it feels equally at ease at motorway speeds too.

Light & Airy Cabin.

The cabin in the Dolphin has a light and airy feel, with space for up to five occupants. The stylish dash is dominated by a large, 12.8-inch central touchscreen that rotates between landscape and portrait at the touch of a button. The screen responds to touch commands quickly and the on-screen graphics are reasonably sharp. Ergonomically-designed front sports seats and headrests are made from vegan leather, as are the rear seats and multi-function steering wheel. Front seats have 6-way electric adjustment for the driver and 4-way electric adjustment for the front passenger, both of which have shoulder and back support, optimised with body-hugging wings for a more comfortable, wraparound experience. Passenger space within the cabin is equally impressive, as a six-foot tall occupant can sit behind an equally tall driver in relative comfort. The well-proportioned boot has a capacity of 345-litres behind the rear seats, but this increases to 1,310-litres with the rear seats folded down. The boot has a variable-height floor than can section off storage space for the electric charging cables underneath, and the cabin benefits from over 20 tucked-away storage spaces for enhanced practicality. The Dolphin also comes with a 3.3kW external discharge ‘vehicle-to-load’ facility which can be used to charge accessories and power external devices.

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.

The new fully-electric BYD Dolphin is a highly commendable and extremely capable compact hatchback that is great to drive, cleverly packaged, and very well equipped. It has an impressive real-world driving range along with easy charging options at home, or on the road. Its competitive price offering on the Irish market will appeal to eco-friendly motorists keen to embrace lower-cost, emissions-free, all-electric motoring. Buyers in the market for a well-rounded, fully-electric compact hatchback should certainly have the Dolphin on their shopping list. It really is that good. The BYD Dolphin Comfort (60.4kWh) is priced from just €29,318 (inclusive of metallic paint), with the Design specification model (as tested) priced at €31,192. All BYD cars are supplied with a comprehensive 6-year/150,000km vehicle warranty, an 8-year/200,000km battery warranty, and a 12-year/unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty as standard. 

Picture of Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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