China’s BYD claims to have taken more than 3000 orders on its Atto 3 electric SUV, which would make it among Australia’s top-selling EVs already.

    Imported by startup, and sold both online and soon through an Eagers-backed network of showrooms, the Atto 3 will compete at the bottom end of the market against the MG ZS EV – Australia’s number-two EV in 2021 after the ubiquitous Tesla Model 3.

    “We are extremely confident that BYD’s first mass produced vehicle for Australia, the ATTO 3, will be an amazing success with more than 3,000 orders already placed,” said BYD Australia general manager Wing You.

    This 3000-car order bank, with deliveries promised from the next few months, suggests that BYD won’t suffer the same crippling stock shortages experienced by the likes of Hyundai and Kia on their shmick new EV options.

    To put this 3000 figure into context, market-wide EV sales in Australia between January and May 2022 inclusive of Tesla sit at 8543 units, more than half being the Model 3.

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    Priced from $44,990 drive-away depending on your state, the 4455mm-long Atto 3 competes not just with the MG, but the likes of Nissan’s Leaf and the new Kia Niro – both more expensive cars.

    The Atto 3 will be available in standard range form, or with a bigger battery and more range for a further $3000 – a reasonable impost for an extra 100km of range.

    Both use BYD’s in-house ‘Blade’ LFP batteries, with base cars packing 50kWh of capacity and extended range models 60kWh. The respective WLTP driving ranges of the pair are 320km and 420km.

    The battery powers a 150kW and 310Nm front-wheel drive electric motor, capable of pushing the Atto 3 from zero to 100km/h in a claimed 7.3 seconds.

    While not a household name to all and sundry, 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.

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    BYD has established an Australia-focused line at one of its factories in China, and plans to commence production of the first 15,000 cars for this market. That is the kind of healthy supply only Tesla can compete with.

    A further two BYD vehicle models will go on sale both online and in-store by December 2022 in Australia, the company adds, expected to be a small EV hatch and mid-sized EV sedan.

    Want to know more about BYD, including its ambitious multiple-model rollout and sales plans for Australia? Read our previous coverage below for all the latest.

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    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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