4 min read
07 Apr

“Don't do it.” That's the advice you'd get from most people in Nigeria if you tell them you're considering an EV (electric car) for your next car purchase. Why? The biggest concerns Nigerian car shoppers have about EVs or even electrified models like the Toyota Prius are parts, repairs, and maintenance. In January this year, Punch Newspaper reported that industry experts believe Nigeria isn't ready to go green, as reiterated by Chief Executive Officer of Autogig International Resources Limited, Tope Ojo. “We need to focus on our competitive advantage and not play second fiddle,” Ojo said. 

Despite the monumental problems of poor power supply nationwide, scarcity of certified EV technicians, and near-nonexistent charging infrastructure, Nigeria can’t escape the wind of electrification. For example, Hyundai recently introduced the Kona Electric to the Nigerian market, touted as the country's first locally assembled EV. 

Considering that Kona's starting price in the American market is around the equivalent of 42.5 million naira (at N1,247.75/$), we're unlikely to see many Konas on Nigerian roads, even with government incentives. Enter the Chinese-made BYD Yuan Up, a sophisticated entry-level electric SUV that costs less than many used cars in Nigeria these days. 

See also:

The 10 Most Reliable And Capable Used Cars For Nigerian Roads

The Yuan Up Is A 16 Million Naira New Car From China

BYD Yuan Up is a cheap car from China.

Photo credit: CarNewsChina

If, right now, you're thinking: "It's cheap because it's a poor-quality product from China," then you obviously don't know BYD, and you don't know what's going on in the global EV industry recently. BYD has just partnered with German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz to launch a co-branded luxury EV before this year is over. 

For the record, BYD sold some 3 million cars in 2023, almost more than half of what the almighty Tesla managed the same year. The wind of BYD was enough to get big-name car makers talking about partnerships to prevent the Chinese upstart from eating their lunch and dinner too. 

Like other models out of BYD’s factory, the new pocket-friendly Yuan UP EV is a highly sophisticated compact SUV that can keep going for 249 miles on a full charge. By comparison, the Yuan Up is, by far, the best new car you can buy with less than N16,000,000, no matter the automotive segment or class, as far as the current Nigerian market is concerned. 

2024 BYD Yuan Up battery and range.

Photo credit: CarNewsChina

Nigerians with the means to charge their car as needed will find that the Yuan Up is probably the best investment they can make in their car shopping and car ownership experience. 

Launched in 2024, the BYD Yuan Up is a battery-electric subcompact crossover SUV that is part of the BYD Yuan series and named after the Yuan dynasty. The Yuan Up just went on sale in China in March 2024, with a starting price of 16,719,850.00 naira (RMB 96,800 or $13,400). 

Key Features Of The BYD Yuan Up

  • Class: Subcompact crossover SUV (B-segment)
  • Body Style: 5-door SUV
  • Layout: Front-motor, front-wheel-drive
  • Platform: e-Platform 3.0
  • Electric Motor: Permanent magnet synchronous motor with options for 70 kW (94 hp; 95 PS) or 130 kW (174 hp; 177 PS)
  • Battery: Available in 32 kWh BYD Blade LFP or 45.1 kWh BYD Blade LFP
  • Range: Approximately 187-249 miles (301-401 km)
  • Wheelbase: 2,620 mm (103.1 in)
  • Dimensions: 4,310 mm (169.7 in) in length, 1,830 mm (72.0 in) in width, 1,675 mm (65.9 in) in height
  • Kerb Weight: 1,430 kg (3,153 lb)

See also:

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BYD Yuan Up features.

Photo credit: CarNewsChina

The Yuan Up features a design inspired by the Song L (another BYD electric midsize SUV) and incorporates what BYD calls a "dragon face" design. It has a modern, curvy look, with a floating roof and semi-concealed door handles. 

The company designed the interior to feel spacious and light, using mixed colors and high-tech features such as an 8.8-inch digital instrument screen and a centrally mounted 12.8-inch control screen to round off the sophisticated ambiance. 

BYD Yuan Up dashboard.

Photo credit: CarNewsChina

The only challenge we feel potential Nigerian shoppers should know about is that the Yuan Up may not be very suited for rough roads. Unlike the Panda Cross, a small car that might as well have been built for Nigerian bad roads, the BYD Yuan Up is a soft-roader, with a focus on urban and crossover style rather than off-road capabilities. 

However, the Yuan Up is perfect if you intend to use it mostly in areas that don’t feel like you’re driving offroad. At the Yuan Up’s price, you can hardly get a better deal in terms of electric range. 

Can You Trust The BYD Yuan Up?

Is BYD Yuan Up reliable?

BYD is at the forefront of Chinese automakers rewriting a previous narrative that China makes poor knockoffs of Western brands. This narrative was (and still) true to some extent, but BYD is taking the world piece by piece, car by car- high-quality affordable cars. 

BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, is a Chinese multinational company specializing in manufacturing automobiles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, and new energy products. Founded in 1995, BYD has become one of the largest electric vehicle manufacturers not just in China but the world. 

BYD narrowed its focus on EVs and has positioned itself as a leading electric car and bus manufacturer. The company has made significant strides in the electric vehicle market and has gained recognition for its innovative technologies and environmentally friendly products. 

The Yuan Up Offers Plenty For Just 16 Million Naira

BYD Yuan Up price and value.

Photo credit: CarNewsChina

Finally hitting the market on March 26, the car surpassed an impressive 20,000 customer orders within three days of its launch, according to CarNewsChina

Echoing the charm of its sibling, the BYD Destroyer 05 Honour Edition (known as Chaser 05 / Chazor / King DM-i in international markets), the Yuan UP’s interior flaunts a D-shaped steering wheel proudly bearing the Yuan (元) insignia complemented by an 8.8-inch LCD instrument cluster. 

The 12.8-inch rotating center screen and plush power-adjustable perforated leatherette seats are probably the first tell-tales of the car’s sophistication. The console hosts a wireless charging pad, a crystal gear selector, and tactile controls for essential functions. 

Illuminated by a vast panoramic roof, the interior dazzles with diverse color schemes like black and beige or pink, charcoal, and light gray. The rear passengers enjoy plenty of room thanks to the flat floor. 

Underneath, the Yuan UP boasts a MacPherson suspension in the front and a rear torsion beam. It’s not the toughest SUV money can buy, but the Up meets loads of expectations regarding light SUV duties.

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