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BYD Atto 3
BYD Atto 3, image courtesy of BYD


The BYD Atto 3 Has Launched In South Africa, Starting At Just R768,000 ($40,941)

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BYD has been ramping up production of its electric vehicles and expanding its footprint across the globe. One of the models BYD has been introducing in more markets around the world is the BYD Yuan Plus (the name in China), which is also known in several markets — such as Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Thailand, some countries in mainland Europe, and the United Kingdom — as the Atto 3. The Atto 3 has been well received in some of these markets, and is doing quite well on the sales charts in New Zealand, Israel, and Thailand.

BYD has now introduced the Atto 3 to the South African market. The Atto 3 will have 2 models in South Africa, a 49.92 kWh Standard Range model starting from R768,000 ($40,941), and a 60.48 kWh Extended Range model. Both models have BYD’s Blade Battery. The Extended Range Version is priced starting at R835,000 ($44,479).

BYD Atto 3

Both models have a 150 kW/310 Nm permanent magnet synchronous motor, front-wheel drive and acceleration of 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds.  The Standard Range has a 345 km WLTP range, and the Extended Range version has a 420km WLTP range. AC charging is up to 7kW with a Type 2 connector and DC  charging is up to 70kW/80kW (CCS2) respectively.

The Atto 3 is a C-class SUV constructed on BYD’s e-Platform 3.0,  which BYD says exhibits exceptional performance in terms of intelligence, efficiency, safety, and aesthetics. It has a drag coefficient as low as 0.29Cd. Additionally, the vehicle can offer users a more convenient and comfortable urban commute, thanks to its 420 km pure electric cruising range under WLTP conditions. From family trips to city commutes, the BYD Atto 3 will meet the diversified needs of South African customers in various driving scenarios. Buyers will get 5 color options to choose from, including Surfing Blue, Hiking Green, Parkour Red, Climbing Grey, and Skiing White.

BYD Atto 3

The launch event was attended by various local government officials, industry leaders, and media personnel. The launch of BYD’s electric vehicles in South Africa is part of the company’s global expansion strategy. With more countries encouraging sustainable transportation solutions to combat climate change, BYD is committed to providing high-quality electric vehicles with advanced technologies such as the Blade Battery and the DiPilot driving assistance system for enhanced safety and security.

BYD Atto 3

South Africa was chosen as the location for this grand opening due to its promising market demand for cleaner transportation options. In the first four months of 2022, 138 battery-electric vehicles were sold in South Africa. Now, one year later, sales of battery-electric vehicles have doubled over the same period. 284 battery-electric vehicles were sold in South Africa from January to April of this year, representing a 105.8% change, according to reports released by naamsa.

As one of the largest economies on the African continent with numerous challenges related to air pollution, there is a significant opportunity for electric vehicles such as those produced by BYD. The grand opening marks an important milestone not only for BYD, but also for South Africans who are looking forward to embracing greener transportation alternatives. The South African BEV landscape has been traditionally characterized by the premium models from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Volvo — electric vehicles that start from well over R1 million ($51,000). There is some hope, though, as more affordable models are starting to come to South Africa.

The Ora Cat’s pricing for South Africa was announced recently. As reported in the local media, the Ora Cat will start from R716,900 ($37,000) for the 63 kWh battery version. Models with higher trims will go up to R915,900 ($47,100). The Volvo EX30 will join the sub-R1 million list and will also surely help shake things up in the South African EV sector. Now the BYD Atto 3 joins the growing list of sub-R1 million rand options. This is a great development for South Africa, as more people will be able to get access to electric vehicles.

I wrote an article a couple of months are go where I said that it looks like this year could be the first year where sales of battery-electric vehicles surpass the 1,000 unit mark in a single year. I think that if BYD brings the Atto to South Africa in significant volumes, this will most likely help get sales to go well beyond the 1,000 mark. BYD says it sees South Africa as an important market with huge potential for growth. Its entry into this market will not only create employment opportunities, but will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions through its clean energy solutions. In the future, BYD will continue to build a local sales and service system to offer better user experiences, and to introduce more of its eco-friendly vehicles to South Africa to promote sustainable mobility in the region.

With the launch of the BYD Atto 3, BYD says this further displays its brand vision to “Cool the Earth by 1℃” by delivering reliable and sustainable mobility solutions that significantly reduce carbon emissions. The BYD Atto 3 represents a significant step towards achieving a cleaner and more sustainable transportation sector in South Africa, and a greener mobility solution across different industries worldwide.

Images courtesy of BYD, Remeredzai

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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