TOKYO, Japan: China's BYD Co's said it would start selling its first electric vehicles in Japan early next year.
China's BYD, in which the American Berkshire Hathaway owns a stake, said it will roll out ATTO 3, an electric sports utility vehicle in Japan starting January 31, with a cruising distance of 485 kilometers and costing $32,735.66.
In comparison, Nissan Motor Co's electric Leaf standard model has a cruising range of 322 kilometers and costs about $27,000.
BYD's Japan outlets are set to introduce two more models by the end of 2023 and open more than 100 dealerships in Japan by the end of 2025, the company said.
Gasoline-electric hybrid models remain more popular than electric vehicles in Japan. However, the share of the battery-driven vehicles is expected to grow, partly due to non-Japanese automakers like BYD and Volkswagen making their way into the market.
BYD's Japan division is planning to set up tentative retailers starting late January in 22 cities, but is eager to cover all 47 prefectures, said Atsuki Tofukuji, BYD Auto Japan Inc chief executive.
"We hope that we can make our presence felt little by little as we work toward carbon neutrality and as our customers demand a variety of choices," he said.