Chinese carmaker BYD’s first electric vehicle for Australia, the Atto 3 SUV, could have an ANCAP safety rating by the end of 2022 according to its local distributor.

    Luke Todd, managing director for BYD distributor EVDirect, told CarExpert all the relevant testing for an ANCAP is close to being complete on the Atto 3.

    Mr Todd said EVDirect has been working “very deeply with NCAP, also the highly advanced facilities throughout China that work with NCAP out of Europe, and then we’ve also been working with the local ANCAP team”.

    “We’ve been very clear all along that this car has been built to obtain a five-star ANCAP rating in Australia, and we’re confident that we’re on track for that announcement,” Mr Todd told CarExpert.

    It’s possible the rating will be confirmed by the end of 2022, although exactly when the results will be in isn’t clear.

    Although BYD has started delivering cars, and is holding close to 4500 orders in Australia, an ANCAP rating opens the door for fleets and rideshare operators to get behind the wheel.

    It also potentially brings an extra layer of legitimacy to BYD, which despite being one of China’s largest carmakers is new to Australia.

    The first examples of the Atto 3 are now with local customers. EVDirect handed the first Australian car over in New South Wales last week, and this week did the same for its first Victorian buyers.

    Orders for the Atto 3 have been open since February 2022, and the car was approved for sale in Australia during July. The first batch of cars touched down on Aussie soil early in August.

    BYD says it has close to 4500 buyers lined up locally. The brand says it can build 3000 of these per month for our market – which would be enough to make it the second-biggest EV brand in Australia behind Tesla.

    The Atto 3 is priced from $44,990 drive-away depending on your state, with the Extended Range model costing $3000 more and offering 420km of range on the WLTP cycle – an increase of 100km on the Standard Range.

    Both variants use BYD’s in-house Blade LFP batteries, with base cars packing 50kWh of capacity and extended range models 60kWh.

    The first cars arriving in Australia are Extended Range models, with production of the Standard Range not set to start in China until at least November 2022. The first Standard Range models will touch down locally late this year or early next.

    Customers will pick up their cars from a BYD Experience Centre location and not a mycar location, as had previously been the plan.

    BYD vehicles have previously been offered in Australia – you may have taken a previous-generation BYD e6 taxi in Sydney – but the EVDirect-led push of the new Atto 3 small electric SUV is the Chinese brand’s biggest step here yet.

    While not a household name in Australia, BYD is a giant in the ‘new energy vehicle’ space, which as well as cars produces electric buses and even batteries for other companies. Warren Buffett is a major shareholder.

    MORE: Everything BYD Atto 3

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers