BYD Atto 3 EV lands in SA with VTOL

BYD is the most important car brand you’ve never heard of. Unless you are a dedicated follower of all things EV.

The Chinese brand is the world’s biggest EV maker, selling more EVs than Tesla. And despite the South African EV market being a problematic business case, BYD isn’t evading opportunity.

Atto 3 has been confirmed as BYD’s debut model for the South African market. Built on the e-Platform 3.0, the Atto 3 is about the size of an Audi A3 sedan. As customers would expect from a Chinese vehicle, this EV features generous standard specification, including a panoramic sunroof, 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, seven airbags and several active driver assistance features.

Atto 3 and anti load-shedding?

Beyond the slick appearance and aerodynamic proportions, BYD’s Atto 3 offers a sensible blend of driving range and performance. The electric motor is rated at 150kW and 310Nm, drawing power from a 50.1kWh battery pack. BYD claims the Atto 3 should be good for 320km of driving range.

If range anxiety, whether real or imagined, is a thing for you, a 60.4kWh battery version of the Atto 3 is available. It enhances the Chinese EV’s driving endurance to 420km.

There are some novel features regarding the Atto 3’s charging specification, too. It has both Type 2 AC and Type 2 CCS charging ports. And you can use its Vehicle-To-Load (VTOL), to generate 3.3kW of power into your home during load-shedding. If you live in an apartment that might not be of much use to you, though…

With Volvo setting new affordability standards for EVs in South Africa, BYD is following the Swedish brand’s example. The Atto 3 is priced at R768 000, while the longer-range 60.4kWh version will retail for R835 000. Both are covered with a 5-year/100 000km warranty and similarly configured service plan.

Could Chinese EVs finally convince more South Africans that EV ownership is a viable alternative to petrol and diesel cars? The sales numbers will narrate that truth, over the next few months.

Lance Branquinho


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