A Roadtrip to Subic with the BYD Dolphin EV

A Roadtrip to Subic with the BYD Dolphin EV

While the Philippines is slowly adopting to electric vehicles (EV), there are still a few reasons why Filipinos hesitate to buy EVs. One of these reasons is range anxiety, as the perception with an EV is that they have lower range compared to gas powered cars. Add to the limited number of charging stations in the Philippines, and we understand the hesitation of Filipinos when it comes to EVs.

To dispel myths about range anxiety, BYD invited us to a media drive last March 22, where we drove the Dolphin EV from their store in Quezon Avenue to Subic International Golf Club and back–on a single charge. During our briefing in the morning, we were told that the 300km+ round trip should be feasible, since the Dolphin’s 44.5KwH is rated for up to 405km.


We started our journey at BYD Quezon Avenue, with the Dolphin’s battery fully charged. For the test, the car has three passengers, and we were using the aircon for the whole trip. The car was set in Eco mode, and we adjust the regenerative breaking settings between standard and larger depending on road conditions.


A quick overview of the BYD Dolphin

While it is a subcompact hatchback, the Dolphin is spacious for all three passengers, and boasts a modern, minimalist dashboard that consists of two screens and a few switches. Driving the Dolphin is pretty straightforward, as you only have two gears to choose from: drive and reverse. Using the Dolphin is the same as how you’d drive a golf cart–with the big difference being all the creature comforts that it has to offer: automatic climate control, CarPlay/Android Auto, 360-degree cameras with blind spot detection, vegan leather seats, and even your own assistant to control some functions via voice command.

Powering the Dolphin is a single motor that has 70Kw of power and 180nm of torque, which is enough to drive it as fast as 110km/h in the highway. Charging the Dolphin is done via a CCS2 port on the right side of the car. Charging times depends on how charge the Dolphin: it can be as long as 20 hours via a standard 10A power socket or around 6.5 hours via a wall charger–aka the ones you’d usually find in malls. The Dolphin also supports rapid charging at up to 60kw, where a 10% to 80% top up can be done in under 40 minutes.

While it is a subcompact hatchback, the Dolphin’s rear trunk is relatively spacious, capable of hauling four 20-inch luggages. The trunk has a cover for additional storage and for concealing your other belongings at the back. Aside from the toolkit, the Dolphin includes a charging adapter should you opt to top up the battery via a conventional AC plug.


The driving experience

Being a full EV, the Dolphin runs quiet–even the motor is not as noisy as you’d expect even at high speeds. The only noise you’d most likely hear from the outside is from the air conditioning system. Despite its compact size, the Dolphin’s interior is spacious enough for heavyweight individuals in both the front and back seats.

The Dolphin’s sound system is quite nice: we were blasting Taylor Swift, Deadmau5, and Twice via Apple Music during the whole trip, and the Dolphin’s speakers handled them nicely. The suspension is quite good in handling a few potholes in Metro Manila and the road conditions of both NLEX and SCTEX. We were traveling with a speed of around 80 to 110Km/H, further proving that the Dolphin is suitable for highway driving.


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How’s the Dolphin’s mileage? From BYD’s dealership in Quezon City to Subic International Golf Club, we travelled 152.4KM with 61% battery left–or around 17.511KwH consumed from the battery. Returning to BYD Quezon Avenue for the trip, we were left with 18% on the battery with a total distance travelled of 151km. That translates to around 19.135KwH consumed on the battery for the return trip.

The higher consumption for the return trip is caused by several factors like more cargo in the trunk, wind direction, and less opportunities to make use of the Dolphin’s regenerative braking to restore some power back to the battery. Those factors aside, we’re impressed that BYD’s claims on the Dolphin is true: we managed to do a full roadtrip to Subic on a single charge, with around 70km of range left that’s enough for us to look for a nearby charging station. 

Overall, the trip to Subic made us realize that EVs can be used for long trips without having range anxiety. While there are some limiting factors like the availability of charging stations, the feasibility of using EVs for long drives is slowly becoming a reality. BYD even mentioned that it’s possible to bring the Dolphin all the way to Baguio–provided that you top up the battery at the charging station in Rosario, La Union–which is still good considering the fear of Filipinos when it comes to range with EVs. 

The Dolphin EV is priced at Php 1,398,000 in the Philippines. 




  • Mary Q , March 26, 2024

    this is the group we saw last March 22. WOW! that’s amazingly good ha! good job

  • JesMar HS Jose , March 27, 2024

    Does BYD have an EV for 7 people ?
    Thanks a lot ? oraciosanjoseMaria

  • TonZdeAsis , April 8, 2024

    So U gotta plan your stop-over (read: an EV charging station, w/c shld be listed on Maps/ Waze!)

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