Chinese BYD electric cars are now on sale in Australia
The new Atto 3 compact SUV – built by one of China’s biggest automakers – won’t arrive in Australia for at least five months, but locals can now drop $1,000 for a reservation.
The new Atto 3 The compact SUV – known as the “Yuan Plus” in its home market – starts from $44,381 before the start for the entry-level variant, and local distributor Nexport says deliveries to customers will begin in July 2022 (approximately five months from today).
While that figure doesn’t make the BYD Australia the cheapest electric vehicle, it currently ranks second behind only the $44,990 MG ZS EV in all states except Tasmania (where low stamp duty and fees of registration place it exactly on par with the MG in traffic).
However, unlike its direct competitors, the BYD is sold online and the price is not negotiable through a dealership. You can view road costs in your area by clicking here.
Currently, potential buyers can put down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve a vehicle on EVDirect.com.au. Finalization of the sale will not be possible until the cars arrive and, according to the fine print, the advertised price is “subject to change”.
All display examples of Atto 3 currently in Australia were built for the Chinese market in left-hand drive, which means local media and potential buyers have until there was unable to assess the vehicle.
However – although he has yet to import a registrable example of his new model and has no previous experience of mass selling passenger cars in Australia – importer Nexport is adamant that that it has “full factory support” to build 1500 vehicles with the steering wheel on the correct side inside. the next five months.
Nexport has already imported the BYD E6 people carrier and the T3 van – but no more than 65 of the two models have ever been sold to customers.
It says it will import 15,000 cars before the end of 2022, suggesting ambitions to sell electric vehicle market leader Tesla in its first year of sales.
Entry-level, ‘Superior’ as standard range, a single electric motor sends 150kW / 310Nm to the front wheels, completing the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 7.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 160km / h (view To drive‘s deep dive into pricing and specs by clicking here).
A 50.1 kWh “Blade” lithium-ion battery allows a claimed maximum range of 400 km between charges (or 320 km estimated according to European WLTP procedures).
If these numbers prove accurate in real-world testing, the performance of the BYD Atto 3 will comfortably surpass that of its rival MG.
Inside the cabin, all five seats are trimmed in two-tone leatherette trim, and infotainment is provided via a 12.8-inch rotating infotainment screen.
Luke Todd – the CEO of Nexport – has already suggested the Atto 3 will launch with a “five-star ANCAP safety rating” in Australia, but the top testing body has confirmed To drive so far no provision has been made by the local distributor for crash assessments to be carried out.
All 19 electric cars tested in the local market – including the MG ZS EV – currently wearing a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
BYD cars are sold online through the EVDirect website, and a physical showroom in Darlinghurst, Sydney will allow potential customers to view and test BYD products in person when road-legal examples arrive later. during this year.
Maintenance, repairs and deliveries will be carried out under contract by the mall mechanic MyCar, which previously operated as Kmart Tire & Auto.
Nexport claims a seven-year/unlimited kilometer warranty for the vehicle.
The BYD brand has been a long time coming to Australia – in April last year, Nexport said it was ready to roll out an electric sedan then known as the BYD EA1 (badged ‘Dolphin’ in Chinese production form ) for “well under $35,000”. ”
At the time, the company claimed: “Our six-car range will completely change the automotive landscape in Australia, and we expect to be a top five manufacturer within 24 months.”
However, multiple setbacks caused those plans to be put on hold, and in August Mr Todd confirmed To drive the more expensive Atto 3 The SUV (then known only by its Chinese market name, the Yuan Plus) would debut as the brand’s only local offering by October 2021.
That date came and went, and the launch was later pushed back to November 2021 and then February 2022.