26 June 2024
North Korea Is Making Cars Now? First EV Seems Like A BYD Han

Believe it or not, North Korea actually has an automotive industry, and it seems to be rebadging cars from BYD.

Yes, you heard right.

The hermit kingdom, not wanting to be left in the dust by its southern counterpart, boasts its own automotive industry. Well, sort of.

We’re talking about Chinese-sourced BYD cars with North Korean badges slapped on. But hey, better than nothing.

Recently, North Korea has been making some interesting moves in the world of electric vehicles (EVs). The Madusan Economic Federation, a foreign trade organisation established in 2018, released a video showcasing their so-called technological advancements.

From smartphones to electric vehicles, Madusan is eager to flaunt its progress. You can watch the YouTube link below for a dose of CGI and an eclectic soundtrack. The car is featured at the five-minute mark.

Madusan claims the EV (currently unnamed) is a product of its funding. But to the trained eye, it looks suspiciously like a BYD Han cruising through what we assume are the empty streets of North Korea.

Amusingly, the car makes engine sounds – and yes, tyre squealing noises on wet pavement.

What’s particularly intriguing is that the car’s badge is censored. Not covered, but censored. This wasn’t done subtly either. The only North Korean connection is the Hangul text (Chosŏn muntcha) on the plate.

If we have anything to go by, the North Korean EV boasts an impressive range of up to 720 kilometres on a single charge. Enough for a cross-border trip past the DMZ and onto Seoul, however, details about the rest of the powertrain remain murky.

Interestingly, the BYD Han has a similar maximum range – 715 kilometres, to be exact.

But here’s the million-won question: will this car reach the everyday North Korean citizen? 

Given North Korea’s economic and political landscape, this might just be a technological showcase rather than a real consumer product.

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