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[NEWS] New BYD Atto 3 confirmed for UK sale by end of 2022

New BYD Atto 3 confirmed for UK sale by end of 2022

byd atto 3 paris motor show 01 front static
The BYD Atto 3 crossover – atop marque's new platform – will rival the MG ZS EV

Chinese EV brand to launch three Tesla rivals in Europe by 2023; smallest coming to UK

Chinese giant BYD will begin European deliveries of three electric cars in the coming weeks, leveraging a market foothold that it has quickly established since beginning limited sales in 2021.

Already active in Europe through its Hungary-based commercial vehicles division, known in the UK for its electric buses, BYD first confirmed plans to sell passenger EVs in Europe in 2020, beginning with the Audi E-tron-rivalling Tang SUV and focusing initially on Norway.

The brand did previously offer the e6 electric crossover in limited volumes in the UK, primarily to private hire fleets, but it has been absent from the European car market for nearly a decade. Now it's returning with a trio of EVs targeted at the market's most popular segments in a bid to steal market share from Tesla - and one will come to the UK.

BYD is one of several Chinese-based EV firms aiming to capture significant market share in Europe, along with rivals Aiways, Great Wall Motor and Nio - each of which have recently started selling cars on the mainland.

Initially, BYD will focus on Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway for its three European models, but the Atto 3 will be on sale in the UK before the end of 2022. 

The first model to be built on BYD's new e-Platform 3.0 architecture, the 201bhp, front-driven Atto 3 is similar in size to the MG ZS EV – at 4.5m long, 1.9m wide and 1.6m tall –  and similar in terms of performance characteristics, offering a range of 261 miles on the WLTP combined cycle, a 7.3sec 0-62mph time and charging at rates of up to 80kW.

Power is supplied by a 60.5kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery – containing no cobalt – that BYD calls the Blade. Said to be 50% more energy-dense than a conventional lithium ion unit, the Blade Battery has been developed to "resolve issues in battery safety while also redefining safety standards for the entire industry".

At the launch of the power pack last year, BYD showed how it could withstand a nail penetration without suffering thermal runaway in the same way as more commonly used battery chemistries, thereby reducing the risk of fire.

BYD has said it's in discussion with other vehicle makers that are interested in using the Blade Battery in their own EVs.

The Atto 3 will be sold in Europe alongside the Han, a Tesla Model 3-rivalling executive saloon, and the Tang, a seven-seat SUV that has been offered in limited volumes in Norway since July 2021 - and became that country's second best-selling E-segment electric SUV last month. The latter two will not come to the UK - though the new BYD Seal, a compact Tesla Model 3 rival, has not been ruled out. 

The EVs will be sold through a network of regional dealer groups: Louwman in the Netherlands, Hedin Mobility Group in Sweden and Germany, Nic Christiansen Group in Denmark, RSA in Norway and – alongside its European operations – Shlomo Motors in Israel. BYD has given no indication of how its cars could be sold in the UK.

Last week, Great Wall Motor appointed West Midlands-based importer International Motors as the official UK retailer of its new Ora Funky Cat supermini.

BYD Europe managing director Michael Shu said: "With a customer-centric approach, we're fully committed to this market and warmly embrace partnerships with key expert dealers across Europe.

"Through localised partners and stakeholders, we aim to provide the highest level of attentive customer service along with knowledgeable product and aftersales service support."

More details on specific vehicle pricing – and clarity on BYD's ambitions for the UK market – are expected to be released imminently.

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