BYD’s Australian distributor posted an impressive 1268 sales of the Atto 3 electric vehicle (EV) in December – just the second month it has reported its sales.

While we won’t have the full 2022 electric car sales charts until tomorrow – story pending – it’s almost certain the Atto 3 was therefore December’s second top-selling EV after the Tesla Model 3 (1806).

The result means the Chinese brand claimed 2113 Atto 3 deliveries in November and December – which for context is more sales than the combined full-year tallies of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kona Electric.

BYD’s December tally of 1268 units was also more than the full line-ups of Audi (1262) or Honda (996).

Sales of the Atto 3 only resumed in mid-November after a several-week pause related to an Australian Design Rule compliance issue – specifically around ISOFIX anchor points.

BYD’s local importer EVDirect also upped the Atto 3’s prices in early December, by $3630. Prices are now $48,011 before on-road costs for the Standard Range and $51,011 for the Extended Range.

It remains an affordability leader in Australia’s fast-growing EV space however, with only the MG ZS EV ($44,990 to $48,990 drive-away) undercutting it.

China’s BYD is growing at pace, expanding its footprint across Europe and into new markets such as Japan this year. It’s now widely viewed as one of the chief rivals to Tesla globally.

It recently produced its three-millionth ‘new energy vehicle’ (EV or PHEV) as it scales at exponential pace and rolls into new markets across the globe.

It took the Warren Buffett-backed EV and battery supplier 13 years to sell one million NEVs, one year to hit two million, and just six months to hit three million.

Australian BYD distributor EVDirect says it plans to bring the BYD Seal sedan and Dolphin small hatch (the latter likely opening under $40,000) to market this year.

This latter vehicle has already been spotted charging in Sydney wearing light camouflage.

The company claims it can produce up to 500 EVs for Australia each day if demand gets to that point – which seems a little way down the track…

There are further rumours of an impending BYD electric (and potentially plug-in hybrid) ute, with a camouflaged test vehicle doing the rounds on various Chinese media sites.

It has also released images of a camouflaged prototype of its upcoming off-roader, which will be sold under the new Yangwang sub-brand. The premium SUV will be launched overseas from the first quarter of 2023, with the first model reportedly wearing the R1 nameplate.

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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