Pre-orders for the Seal began on May 20 with a starting price of RMB 212,800 ($31,860) and orders reached 22,637 units within seven hours.

(Image credit: BYD)

BYD's (SHE: 002594, HKG: 1211, OTCMKTS: BYDDF) highly anticipated model to compete with 's Model 3 will soon be available in China.

Citing unnamed BYD dealer sources, several local media outlets today said the BYD Seal will officially go on sale in China on July 18.

The BYD Seal, the second model in the company's Ocean series after the Dolphin, is the first to use BYD's CTB (cell to body) technology, which allows the battery to be integrated into the body.

The sedan, which went up for pre-order in China on May 20, packs a powerful configuration and offers an attractive price point, potentially making it one of the strongest competitors to Tesla's Model 3.

The standard range version of the BYD Seal comes with a 150-kW rear motor and the long-range version with a 230-kW rear motor. Its 4WD performance version has a total front and rear motor power of 390 kW and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.

The model's length, width and height are 4,800 mm, 1,875 mm and 1,460 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,920 mm. For comparison, the China-made Tesla Model 3 has a length and width of 4,694 mm, 1,850 mm, 1,443 mm, and a wheelbase of 2,875 mm.

The pre-sale price range for the BYD Seal is RMB 212,800 ($31,860) to RMB 289,800. For comparison, the Model 3 is currently offered in China in two versions, with the entry version priced at RMB 279,900 and the Performance version priced at RMB 367,900.

Seal's pre-sale orders reached 22,637 units within seven hours of the start of the pre-sale, according to information shared by BYD on May 21.

In terms of power, energy consumption, and size specifications, BYD Seal has the advantage of being significantly better than Tesla Model 3, according to the team of analyst Xu Huixiong of local brokerage Essence Securities in a research report on April 28.

The Seal is expected to be the most important model in BYD's history, the team said, adding that with reference to Model 3 sales, they expect the model's steady-state monthly sales to exceed 30,000 units.

This prediction seems reasonable, considering the extremely high level of attention the model has received in the past few months.

At the end of May, BYD's booth at the Auto Shenzhen 2022 event drew a large crowd, who were mainly attracted by the Seal sedan, according to information shared by several Weibo car bloggers at the time.

The BYD Seal appears to be built at the company's production base in Changzhou, Jiangsu province in East China, and the city government said on its official Weibo on June 9 that the model would be mass-produced in June, with an expected monthly capacity of 15,000 units when it reaches production.

The Seal's launch is expected to send BYD's sales even higher, after selling more than 100,000 units for four consecutive months.

BYD sold a record 134,036 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in June, which was up 224.02 percent from 41,366 units a year ago and 16.61 percent from 114,943 units in May, according to data released by the company earlier this month.

BYD stopped production and sales of conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in March this year to focus on producing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).

BYD Seal opens for pre-order in China, prices start at about $31,860