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BYD Shark Pickup Debuts As A Plug-In Hybrid Workhorse

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese automaker BYD has unveiled the hybrid Shark pickup truck in Mexico.
  • Despite 102% tariffs on Chinese EVs in the US, a North American production base could change availability.
  • The Shark offers a hybrid setup, modern features, and competitive performance with a straightforward, practical design.

After months of teasers, BYD has finally unveiled its new pickup truck, the Shark, in Mexico, showing that it’s ready to compete in the world of trucks. The Chinese automaker has been battling Tesla for EV dominance worldwide with good success in recent months. The hybrid Shark should have no problem adding to the company’s bottom-line, especially since it offers compelling performance and great range.

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This debut comes on the heels of the Biden administration announcing 102% tariffs on Chinese-made EVs, making them prohibitively expensive for Americans and scaring away Chinese EV automakers. As of right now, this means we have no chance of seeing the Shark in the US anytime soon, but if the company is able to get a manufacturing base in North America, that could change.

Hybrid Performance

While some were expecting a fully-electric pickup, this truck takes a more conservative approach with a plug-in hybrid setup built on the brand’s Dual-Mode Off-Road (DMO) platform. It features a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a 30 kWh battery pack and an electric motor on the rear axle.

It’s a conventional hybrid setup, meaning it will utilize electric power at first, and then let the engine kick in when it’s necessary or when electric power is too low. The company claims the truck can travel 62 miles on electric-only power and 521 miles overall, but both of these numbers are based on the extremely outdated NEDC standards that haven’t been updated since 1997, so it’s best to expect a far lower range in the real world. The truck can support charging speeds up to 40 kW and charges from 20-80% in 20 minutes. A fully-electric version is expected in the near future.

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The engine produces 227 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque while the rear electric motor produces 201 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, combining for 428 hp and 478 lb-ft of torque. This makes it competitive against the likes of the 430-hp Ford F-150 hybrid and 437-hp Toyota Tundra hybrid. Its 0-60 mph comes in 5.7 seconds and the truck will have a payload rating of 1,840 lbs with max towing of up to 5,100 lbs.

BYD Shark Charging
BYD

Modern Look And Features

The look of the truck is rather straight forward, with front and rear lighting elements that appear to take a page right out of the F-150 Lightning’s notebook. You also see a little bit of the VW Amarok in the rear, but overall it’s pretty unique. SInce it uses the brand’s Cell to Chassis technology, the truck offers increased structural rigidity and stiffness that will help with safety.

The inside is simple and modern, dominated by a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 12.8-inch center display that can turn from landscape to portrait, similar to the Fisker Ocean. It will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and give you access to advanced safety features and a 540-degree camera that lets you see all around and underneath the truck. Further features include a heads-up display, the ability to use your phone as a key, and 10 storage spaces.

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The truck appears to be rather compelling, offering a no-nonsense design and ample capabilities that most buyers will love. As we said before, there’s no chance this truck is coming to the US, at least for the time being, as the company has stated it has no desire to bring it here and the tariffs have made it that much harder. Still, its Mexico debut was an interesting move as it puts it right on our doorstep.

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