Home Tech We tested the BYD seal: the car that explains why Tesla has just reduced its prices

We tested the BYD seal: the car that explains why Tesla has just reduced its prices

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A compact, family-sized car, the BYD Seal is aimed squarely at competing with the Tesla Model 3. That said, it is larger than the American in all dimensions, especially in length (4,800 mm versus 4,694 mm for the Model 3). ) and wheelbase (2,920 mm vs. 2,875 mm). The result is a more spacious car with interior space similar to that of a vehicle in a higher class.

Elegant and with a Model 3 drag coefficient of only 0.219 Cd, the Seal is the production version of the Ocean-X Concept starting in 2021. That concept is where BYD revealed the electronic platform 3.0 that underpins all of its current cars.

Best blades

As we wrote in our review of the BYD Atto 3, the company’s proprietary “Blade battery” pack design aims to set it apart from other manufacturers. It is a key component of the Seal platform and organizes lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in a blade-shaped design.

BYD claims that using LFP as the cathode material makes it a safer battery than conventional lithium-ion alternatives. It also boasts of improved thermal stability and higher energy density than its rivals. The Blade design also means that puncture damage to the battery pack in a collision is less likely to cause thermal runaway and the possibility of fire, BYD says.

Also featured on the seal is what BYD claims to be the world’s first 8-in-1 electric powertrain system, and which has an overall efficiency of 89 percent. It combines drive motor, inverter, transmission, on-board charger, AC-DC, power distribution unit, vehicle control unit and battery management system. The platform is also capable of 800 volt charging (like Kia and Hyundai), but, while in other EVs this often means the possibility of ultra-fast DC charging, the Seal is limited to around 150 kW.

There is also a direct heating and cooling system for the battery, which increases thermal efficiency by up to 20 percent. BYD also says that higher thermal efficiency can mean a 20 percent improvement in range in cold climates too.

Interestingly, the Seal’s blade battery forms an integral part of the Seal’s e-platform 3.0 architecture and enables a cell-to-body (CTB) construction, where the battery pack is incorporated within the vehicle structure, improving rigidity.

CTB means that the batteries are no longer dead weight in the car and are now part of the load-bearing structure, with the top of the battery pack being the floor of the car. This means that the torsional rigidity can be 40,500 Nm/degree, about the level of a luxury car.

Refined ride

Low-speed ride quality may lack a touch, but once up to speed, the Seal is fun to drive.


All of this translates into good handling with a comfortable and somewhat refined ride at high speed. That rather conventional but not unattractive appearance is somewhat alluring, as there’s a 50:50 weight distribution and double wishbone suspension at the front to provide a sporty setup.

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