BYD has stormed the Australian market in a very short period of time thanks to its Atto 3 crossover SUV, a capable and extremely cost-effective entrant to the world of battery-electric motoring.

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While BYD is a new entrant to the Australian market, it was actually the single largest manufacturer of battery-electric vehicles in 2022, thanks to a groundswell of popularity in the Chinese market. The company plans on introducing no less than five new vehicles to the Australian market as it hopes to capture more buyers looking for an affordable EV.

In 2022, BYD announced it would stop producing vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine entirely, and has since moved to a completley battery-electric lineup that is set to expand here in Australia in the coming years.

For now, the BYD lineup here in Australia is headlined by the Atto 3 crossover SUV, which offers buyers a compelling value proposition for buyers looking to make the switch to a fully electric SUV platform that promises 320km of driving range on the WLTP cycle.

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The name BYD is actually an acronym for the phrase “Build Your Dreams,” with the company’s headquarters based in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. BYD was founded back in 2003, and has since risen to prominence within China’s automotive landscape with a number of its hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles. 

BYD also produces a range of heavy-duty machinery, buses, trucks and even electric bicycles for the Chinese market, and is hoping to expand its global footprint.

BYD’s current lineup is relatively simple in Australia, with prices for its Atto 3 battery-electric SUV starting from $44,381 for the entry-level Atto 3 Standard Range, with prices rising to $47,381 for the Atto 3 Extended Range.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

It’s difficult to say definitively whether or not BYD’s cars are reliable simply because it’s a relatively new product that’s only recently been introduced to the Australian market. 

Typically, a measure of reliability is something determined over a matter of several years as a car is used over an extended period of time. Considering the BYD Atto 3 has only made its way to Australia recently, a clear picture of its reliability can only be gauged over a number of years. 

In general, though, battery-electric vehicles are typically more reliable than their internal combustion relatives because of the the fact they have significantly fewer moving parts; effectively, there’s less - mechanically speaking - that can go wrong over time.

BYD is indeed a major Tesla competitor, with the company hoping its Atto 3 SUV will outsell the comparative Tesla Model Y and Model 3 here in Australia thanks to its significantly cheaper price tags. 

BYD is hoping to undercut Tesla on price with its Atto 3 in new markets around the globe like Europe, Japan and Thailand, which makes it one of Tesla’s most significant competitors. 

It might surprise you to hear that in 2022, BYD actually produced more electric vehicles than Tesla, making it the single largest manufacturer of electric vehicles for the year, the majority of which remained within the Chinese market.

The BYD Atto 3 has an regenerative braking system that offers the driver two levels of adjustment, depending on their preferences. 

The BYD’s regenerative braking system, like other EVs, is able to capture energy otherwise lost while slowing down the vehicle, and feeds this energy back to the battery pack. 

BYD’s regenerative braking offers two levels of adjustment, the first of which captures around 8kW of energy in the normal mode, increasing to around 15kW in the more aggressive regenerative braking mode.

Considering just how new the BYD Atto 3 is, it’s impossible to say exactly how long you can expect it to last. 

The company does, however, package the Atto 3 with a six-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty for the wider vehicle, with an eight-year, 150,000km warranty applied to the electric motor, battery pack and the high-voltage components. 

One of the most important factors determining how well the BYD Atto 3 will last is how well its battery can maintain a healthy state of charge, as well as how its high-voltage components and structural designs age in the harsh conditions you’ll often find here in Australia.

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