The BYD Seagull is a hot-button car in the EV world, for good reason. It’s small, cute, has good range and costs just $11,000. EV enthusiasts have been excited as the car starts to make its way outside of China, into markets like Latin America and Western Europe under the name Dolphin Mini. Even at double the price, the Seagull remains a compelling option. Yet, in China the GM-backed Wuling Bingo has stayed tight on the Dolphin’s rear, occupying second place for small EVs in the segment. But, it looks like Wuling coming for BYD's crown, with updates for 2024 that make the Bingo more competitive.

The 2024 Bingo's design is the same as it was the year before. Compared to the Seagull’s Lamborghini-inspired Wolfgang Egger-penned lines, the Seagull is a rounded, retro-inspired hatchback. There is one new exterior and interior color, but otherwise, the electric small car is still as cute and soft as it’s always been. The real story, however, is the Bingo’s updated specs.

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The BYD Seagull Is Entering New Markets

BYD is exporting to new markets. It's entering Latin America and Europe as the Dolphin Mini. Its small size but solid range for the price could make it a strong competitor against cars like the Dacia Spring, or Citroen e-C3. The Wuling Bingo is a direct competitor to the BYD Seagull.

The Bingo straddles two different segments in China. It’s about as big as any ICE subcompact car, but the limited range and power had it competing with hyper-urban cars like the Changan Lumin Corn or Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. It only had either 41 or 67 horsepower, and had a top speed of 62 mph, no matter the powertrain. Even with China’s slower speed limits, the Bingo’s slow top speed and lack of power weren’t great, certainly not in the face of the Seagull’s 75-hp output and 81-mph top speed. I can’t imagine it being the most comfortable thing on China’s freeways.

For 2024, Wuling has given the top 31.7 kWh and 37.9 kWh battery models a new motor. It still makes 67 hp, but the motor is now water-cooled and better at wicking away heat. The Bingo’s top speed is 81 mph, identical to the Seagull. The base model 17.3-kWh battery-equipped models use the same 41-hp motor as before and are still limited to a 62 mph. Also, all models are equipped with DC fast charging. Wuling didn’t say what its max speed is, but it can go from 30-80% in 35 minutes. Not very fast, but in the same ballpark as the BYD Seagull. BYD says that car can go from 30-80% in 30 minutes.

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Pricing wise, the Bingo’s roughly $7,828 base price undercuts the $9,500 Seagull. Yet $7,828 only gets you the 41-hp version. When we do an apples-to-apples comparison, the Bingo and Seagull are within about $200 of each other. While the Seagull is cheaper with more power, the Bingo’s 333-km CLTC range surpasses the base Seagull’s 305-km range. I understand why some sources claim that Wuling has managed to sell roughly 20,000 cars per month, although I do realize that's half of BYD’s claimed 40,000-per-month figure for the Seagull.

It just proves that GM, or at least its Chinese counterparts, does know how to stay relevant in that market. The rest of GM may be scrambling to get people in China to buy its cars, but it seems like Wuling has its head on straight when it comes to smaller, budget-focused offerings. Hopefully, it can export some of that goodness to the rest of GM. Perhaps the bigger and faster Wuling Bingo Plus could be a worthy budget EV offering outside of China.

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