‘Build Your Dreams’ are the latest Chinese brand to launch in Ireland. They are hitting the market with a keenly priced, all-electric SUV called the Atto 3.
What is BYD?
BYD stands for Build Your Dreams. They are a gigantic Chinese company that started off as a rechargeable battery manufacturer in 1995. Fast forward a couple of decades to when they created BYD Auto, a subsidiary of BYD focussed on the production of el-electric and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles.
BYD will be introducing themselves to the Irish market as the biggest car brand we’ve never heard of. That statement has merit, as they had a turnover of €57 billion in 2022, selling new energy vehicles in more than 70 countries globally.
What cars do BYD sell?
BYD make a huge range of electric vehicles, from monorail trains to buses. Although a huge part of their business, it’s the cars that we’re interested in today. The ones that we’re concerned with in Ireland are the Seal, the Dolphin, and the Atto 3 which was launched today alongside the BYD brand.
They also produce other cars and SUVs that are not due for right-hand drive production in the short term. The BYD Han is a large saloon, boasting bags of tech and range in a very comfortable package. The BYD Tang is a large performance crossover SUV with 7 seats.
What is the Atto 3?
The Atto 3 is the medium-sized crossover SUV that BYD have decided to launch first on the Irish market. MDL and BYD have decided to price the SUV quite keenly, offering good range, space, performance and superb level of specification. We were pleasantly surprised by the offering!
We got to spend an hour with the car at the launch event. The interior is nicely appointed with vegan leather seats, a panoramic sunroof that opens electrically. There are some quirky, but well-executed design queues inside such as the aeronautical-style gear selector.
What is the Range of the Atto 3?
The Atto 3 features a 60.5kWh LFP Blade battery with a WLTP range of 420km. Of course, the WLTP cycle tends to be a little optimistic, but we still expect it to have a real world range of around 310km to 350km.
A really interesting fact to note is that the battery is Cobalt-free. The chemistry is known as LFP, or Lithium-ion Phosphate. BYD call this their ‘Blade Battery’. They say it is much safer than tradition Lithium-ion batteries. BYD have shown experiments where they drive a nail through the battery without the consequences that you might expect!
How about the level of spec?
What impressed us most based on initial impressions was the level of specification that comes as standard. Some manufacturers introduce cars at competitive prices, knowing full well that people will have to tick many options to get the car they want. Not so with the BYD Atto 3.
Our test car was kitted out with a heat pump for more efficient driving in winter, a panoramic sunroof that opens electrically, vegan leather seats, cruise control, heats seats, OTA updates and much more.
How much is the BYD Atto 3?
We were very pleasantly surprised at the price of the Atto 3 at launch, and we were told that these are not simply introductory prices that will be jacked up in a few months. They are also pushing the finance options, starting from €391 per month.
Prices start off at €37,128 for the ‘Active’ spec. The mid-range ‘Comfort’ spec comes in at €37,596. The top level ‘Design’ spec comes in at €38,964. Considering the prices that manufacturers have been charging for EVs over the last number of years, this a very competitive price. When you factor in the level of spec you get as standard, it really will give Irish car buyers something to think about.
But potential buyers should be aware that the SEAI grant of €5,000 will be reducing to €3,500 from July onwards.
Full review of the Atto 3 coming soon!
Although we got to spend about an hour with the Atto 3, we will be getting it soon again for a much longer period of time. Of course, we’ll be doing a full review then!
We’ll take it out for a long spin, testing its efficiency, range and charging abilities. We’ll also do a deep dive into the technology, really figuring out what the Atto 3 is like to live with.
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