China’s BYD has launched a new version of its Qin Plus DM-I, a PHEV, with a lower starting price, of 79,800 yuan ($11,090), down 20% from its previous version.

The announcement was made on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with the EV maker citing it was “Officially opening a new era of ‘electricity is lower than oil’”.

BYD is the world’s largest EV maker and has been engaged with a price war with its main rival Tesla.

Its EV version has five models with official guide prices starting from 109,800 yuan ($15,262).

The Qin Plus hybrid competes with ICE sedans such as Nissan’s Sylphy and Volkswagen’s Lavida.

On Weibo, BYD said: “The price will make petrol car assemblers tremble. The Glory Edition will become a benchmark for the Class-A [compact] car segment.”

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While the news was welcomed by some Weibo users, who called on others to support China’s domestic products, those who had bought the vehicle at its higher price were unhappy at the reduction, calling the move a ‘backstab’.