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build your dreams atto 3

Build Your Dreams Electric Vehicle: BYD Atto 3 Set to Launch in South Africa

The Chinese automotive powerhouse, Build Your Dreams (BYD), is poised to make a significant entry into the South African market with its compact electric crossover, the BYD Atto 3. Known in its home country as the BYD Yuan Plus, this vehicle has already made its mark in various international markets, including European countries and Asian nations like Japan and Singapore.

Vehicle Specifications and Performance

The Atto 3 is equipped with a front-wheel-drive electric motor, boasting a peak output of 150kW and 310Nm of torque. This power enables the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. The standard range model comes with a 50kWh battery, while an extended range variant is available with a 60kWh battery. Both models support DC fast charging up to 89kW and AC charging up to 11kW. The extended range model offers a notable driving range of up to 420km on a single charge, adhering to the WLTP standard.

Critical Reception and Features

The Atto 3 has garnered attention from notable automotive reviewers. Top Gear rated the vehicle 7/10, highlighting its driving experience, equipment, and spacious cabin. Carwow, a popular YouTube motoring channel, praised the vehicle for its surround view cameras, ample boot space, and remote start feature. However, they also noted some drawbacks, including the lack of lumbar support in the front seats, absence of retainers for rear seat belts, and a low-placed boot release.

Anticipation in South Africa

There has been speculation about the Atto 3’s launch in South Africa, especially following its introduction in Australia, a market with similar driving conditions. The Australian version comes in three trims — Active, Comfort, and Design — each equipped with an array of safety and driving assistance features. These features contributed to the Atto 3 achieving a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

Unique Feature: Vehicle-to-Load Capability

A unique aspect of the Atto 3, particularly relevant to South African consumers, is its vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability. This feature allows the car’s battery to supply standard 120/240V power, which can be used to run home appliances during power outages — a significant advantage considering the current challenges with Eskom. The car can continuously supply up to 2.2kW of power, with the potential to reach up to 3.2kW for short periods.

Pricing and Market Position

The exact models and pricing for the South African market are yet to be confirmed. In Australia, the Atto 3 starts at AU$48,011 for the standard range and AU$51,011 for the extended range. Comparing this to the pricing strategy of GWM, another Chinese manufacturer in South Africa, the Atto 3 is expected to be competitively priced.

BYD’s Global Standing

BYD is not just an emerging player in the electric vehicle (EV) market but a formidable competitor to Tesla. In 2022, BYD surpassed Tesla in EV production numbers, with a significant increase in its production. While Tesla continues to lead in fully-electric vehicle sales, BYD’s rapid growth, including a substantial increase in sales in the first quarter of 2023, indicates a tightening race in the EV market. Beyond automotive, BYD also has a significant presence in battery and mobile phone component manufacturing through its subsidiary, BYD Electronic.

The introduction of the BYD Atto 3 in South Africa is not just a new product launch; it represents the growing global shift towards electric vehicles and the increasing competition in this dynamic market. With its unique features and competitive pricing, the Atto 3 could be a game-changer in the South African automotive landscape.

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