Not since Tesla brought a Model 3 to Brisbane back in 2018 (prior to deliveries in 2019) have I seen such a crowd at the launch of an electric vehicle. BYD received 600 RSVPs to the launch at Indooroopilly’s Auto Mall in Brisbane. I think all of them were there on August 2nd.
After the speeches by Tim Cahill (of Socceroo’s fame) and Luke Todd from EV Direct, the public were allowed to swarm all over and inside the grey BYD Atto 3 right-hand drive. It was a bit of a contrast to the 90 seconds we were allowed in the Model 3 until the attendant, stopwatch in hand, ushered us out of the vehicle.
I watched and listened for a while, then thought — “I’ll have lunch and come back. Shouldn’t be too many people here in an hour.” Boy was I wrong. There were still over 60 people lined up. The best shots were the ones I was able to get from the escalator, going up. BYD was very generous in allowing such access to their vehicle. The car is on display for a week — I wonder how many people are there today?
This event showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Australia is thirsty for an affordable electric SUV.
Australia and China have had some lovers’ quarrels recently. We have had spats over wine, barley, and even coal. Our outgoing government even got involved in some saber rattling. So, I thought there might be some reticence on the part of the Australian public in buying a Made in China vehicle. Not the slightest. All the people I met were as keen as mustard, were well aware of the car’s features. A particular positive was BYD’s VTL capacity. BYD is keen too and expectations are that we will soon see the launch of the Seal and the Dolphin EVs on Australian shores.
An unofficial Queensland government source said that they may be considering their options on the Atto 3. They are awaiting the ANCAP rating before making a decision. They are also considering the Tesla Model Y after having just had a three-day trial. The ships are on the way and it won’t be long before we see a plethora of BYDs on Queensland and Australian roads. Rumour has it that over 4,000 have already been sold.
Featured photo by David Waterworth.
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