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BYD developing electric ute that could be built in Australia

By David Bonnici, 01 Mar 2021 Car News


The Chinese carmaker's Australian distributor hopes to build the ute in NSW once its ready for the local market

Chinese carmaker BYD is working on an all-electric ute that could end up being built in Australia.

The company recently announced plans to introduce its new electric sedan and SUV models onto the Australian market in 2022, which will be distributed by local importer, Nexport.

Nexport is the same company that previously announced plans to build a $700 million 51-hectare factory in Moss Vale, NSW, to assemble BYD buses and eventually cars.

Its CEO Luke Todd has told EV Central that BYD has a pick-up style vehicle in prototype stage, which could end up being built at Moss Vale.

“We [Nexport] are 100 percent Australian owned, we’re an Australian business, we all live in Australia, we’ve all grown up with utes and so it’s something we would love to bring to market when it’s viable and suitable to do so,” said Todd.

Nexport Luke Todd
Nexport CEO Luke Todd in a BYD Han

“We'll be producing electric buses for the New South Wales bus fleet and other states, and hopefully an export market as well.

“We'll also be producing electric trucks, and we'll also be doing some engineering work and then moving into a transition of electric cars in Moss Vale.”

Even so, there is still plenty of time for Australia to again produce a home-grown ute before the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ford Australia’s 1934 Coupe Utility.

Until then, Nexport will import BYD cars our shores, including its Tesla Model S rivalling Han sedan and Tang SUV as well commercial vehicles including buses.

“Ideally, [the ute] would be the first vehicle that we would love to have local production for.

However, it might be some time before BYD will, to quote Prime Minister Scott Morrison, "be coming for your Hilux”, with Todd stressing that there is a lot of work to be done before that happens.

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