BYD Atto 3 electric car launched in Australia

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New car brand BYD launches its first electric car in Australia at a competitive price point.

Chinese car maker BYD has launched its first electric car in Australia, the BYD Atto 3. Named the Yuan Plus in its home country, the Atto 3 is priced from $44,990 driveaway and is covered by a seven-year warranty.

However, the sharp driveaway pricing for the standard range grade ($44,990) and extended range model ($47,990) applies only in Tasmania, with taxes and duties adding up almost three thousand dollars more in some states – further information can be found at EVDirect, which is the official importer and retailer in Australia, using a fixed online sales model. The Tasmanian pricing at least puts the BYD Atto 3 at the same price-point as the MG ZS EV (full review of the updated 2022 MG ZE EV model here).

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Set to be delivered locally from July 2022, the Atto 3 has over 400km claimed driving range and a kit of useful and safe technology.

Underneath is the e-platform 3.0 used in BYD’s other electric cars and compatible with the latest 800-volt architecture. BYD Australia claims the local model is capable of charging in 90 minutes with an 80kW-max DC charging unit (likely not from 0-100 per cent, but charge range is not given). BYD’s own ‘Blade Battery’ technology uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells which are considered safer and more energy-dense in its battery packs.

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Two batteries are available – the standard 50.1-kWh battery which has a claimed range of 320km on the WLTP cycle, and the extended range version with a 60.4kWh battery that reaches a claimed 420km on the same cycle. The single electric front motor produces 150kW and 310Nm of torque, which is good enough for a 0-100km/h in 7.3sec.

Outside, the Atto 3 design is said to be inspired by dragons and rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels, while inside the interior has a slightly futuristic bent, and in its home country at least it comes with a karaoke function. The centerpiece is a large 12.8-inch rotating touch screen with wireless phone charging and Bluetooth connectivity (Apple CarPLay and Android Auto unconfirmed). There is also an 8 speaker Dirac sound system, electrically adjustable front seats, electric opening tailgate, and a sunroof.

Dimensionally, the Atto 3 measures 4455mm long, with a 2720mm wheelbase which is longer than the Toyota Rav4 SUV and promises good space in the cabin. The rear seat is 60:40 split-fold with ‘up to 1330 litres of boot space with the rear seats down,’ although normal boot space with the seats up is not given.

On the safety front is AEB, front collision warning, rear collision warning, lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control, 7 SRS airbags, and ISOFIX anchors on the outer rear seats.

The new BYD Atto 3 is on sale in Australia via EVDirect and comes with a seven-year, unlimited km warranty, and a seven-year, 160,000km warranty on the battery (whichever comes first).

Alex Rae

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