There’s been no shortage of pre-launch hype for Australia’s new cheapest EV, the BYD Atto 3, but finally the proverbial rubber has reached the road.

    The first truckloads of BYD Atto 3 SUVs have arrived from China and rolled onto trucks, starting in Brisbane. As reported earlier, three shiploads departed China with the first batch.

    The company claims to have more than 4000 sales banked, with deliveries to buyers scheduled to kick off this month.

    BYD says it can make 3000 of these per month for our right-hand drive market. If this comes to fruition, BYD will finish second in the EV sales race here this year, behind only Tesla, and ahead of Hyundai and MG.

    MORE: Australia’s best-selling EVs in the first half of 2022

    “To our valued pre-order customers, please be assured that as soon as your car arrives, our team will contact you to begin the purchase and delivery process,” claims BYD’s Australian importer and distributor,

    “Until your vehicle arrives, our team can only provide you with the same information that you can access, at any time, via your online portal.”

    The head of, Luke Todd, said he was “proud to say the first truckloads of BYD Atto 3s are now rolling out across Brisbane, and shortly thousands more [will be] across the country”.

    “There’s been a lot of press this week about why Australia is so far behind in electric vehicle adoption. Whilst others have been debating and waiting, EVDirect and BYD have been getting on with the job of building high quality affordable EVs for Australian families,” he added.

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    The first right-hand drive Atto 3s were unveiled last week at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre in Brisbane, with football (of the round variety) superstar Tim Cahill, there to whip off the covers. claims more than 2000 people showed up to the reveal.

    BYD, the Chinese maker of electric (or at the very least, electrified) vehicles, was until recently best known for its EV bus fleet, and the fact that one of its major long-term shareholders is investment guru Warren Buffett.

    But it’s busy spreading its tentacles all over the globe including to Australia, where it has paired up with EVDirect to sell a diverse range of affordable EVs available for purchase both online, or a showroom network backed by dealer group Eagers. MyCar is a service partner.

    Its first car is the circa $45,000 BYD Atto 3 electric SUV, which will come up agsinst far tougher competition in 2023 including the (also Chinese) MG 4, Ora Cat, and updated MG ZS EV.

    MORE: New MG 4 hatch could be Australia’s cheapest EV in 2023

    As you can read in our exhaustive calendar here, there are more than 50 new EVs set for Australia over the next 24 months.

    It also plans to open order books for the BYD Seal sedan (a Tesla Model 3 competitor) and BYD Dolphin or EA1 (a small EV hatch) before the end of 2022, with deliveries set for 2023, it claims. It also wants to offer an electric ute by as soon as mid-decade.

    Globally, BYD is seen as one of the most likely long-term competitors to Tesla among the so-called ‘non-legacy’ brands, and is even poised to supply its in-house batteries to the Elon Musk-run EV superstar.

    “We’ve been overwhelmed with not just buyers, but people that are interested in the product. BYD to some is a new brand and they have never heard of it, but to others BYD has been a hotly anticipated brand,” said Mr Todd.

    “We are thrilled about the volume of deposits we’ve taken [on Atto 3]. We are comfortably on a pathway to being the second largest EV company with deliveries for this year,” he added, referring to Australia specifically.

    MORE: Brand overview on BYD
    MORE: Thousands of BYD Atto 3 EVs due in Australia within weeks
    MORE: All the EVs coming to Australia: Launch calendar, what’s here already?

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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