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The new cheapest electric car in Australia? 2022 BYD Atto 3 SUV to arrive with low price but plenty of features, putting fellow Chinese upstart MG ZS EV on notice

The new cheapest electric car in Australia? 2022 BYD Atto 3 SUV to arrive with low price but plenty of features, putting fellow Chinese upstart MG ZS EV on notice

Emerging Chinese electric vehicle (EV) specialist BYD has announced pricing and specification details for its first high-volume model in Australia, the relatively affordable Atto 3 small SUV, deliveries of which are scheduled to start in July.

Known as the Yuan Plus in its native China, the Atto 3 is available in two variants Down Under, with the entry-level Superior priced from $44,381.35 plus on-road costs, while the flagship Superior Extended Range commands a $3000 premium.

That said, the Superior can be had for $44,990 drive-away in Tasmania, putting it on pat with the outgoing pre-facelift version of its archrival, the MG ZS EV, which had previously enjoyed sole bragging rights as Australia’s cheapest zero-emissions vehicle.

It’s worth noting, though, the ZS EV’s current $44,990 drive-away price applies nationally, whereas the Superior’s is as high as $47,931.54 in Western Australia. For reference, the Superior Extended Range stretches from $47,990 in Tasmania to $51,313.56 in WA.

Both the Superior and Superior Extended Range are powered by a 150kW/310Nm front-mounted electric motor, which enables a zero-to-100km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds.

The Superior’s 50.1kWh battery provides 320km of WLTP-certified driving range, while the Superior Extended Range’s 60.4kWh unit travels 420km in between charges.

The new cheapest electric car in Australia? 2022 BYD Atto 3 SUV to arrive with low price but plenty of features, putting fellow Chinese upstart MG ZS EV on notice

While the Superior and Superior Extended Range currently have the ZS EV’s number when it comes to power output (105kW/353Nm) and driving range (263km), the latter’s facelifted model will up the ante mid-year with new, presumably more expensive Standard Range (130kW/280Nm and 320km) and Long Range (150kW/280Nm and 440km) variants.

When it comes to charging, both the Superior and Superior Extended Range support AC charging with a Type 2 plug, and DC fast charging with a CCS plug, with the latter capable of up to 80kW.

Standard equipment in the Atto 3 includes white paintwork (grey or blue costs $700 extra), 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding side mirrors with heating, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and a power tailgate.

Inside, keyless start, a rotating 12.8-inch touchscreen multimedia system, digital radio, an eight-speaker Dirac sound system, a 5.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a wireless smartphone charger, power-adjustable front seats (six-way driver/four-way passenger) and two-tone artificial leather upholstery feature.

Advanced driver-assist systems extend to autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, active rear cross-traffic alert and safe exit alert – plus seven airbags.

Measuring 4455mm long (with a 2720mm wheelbase), 1875mm wide and 1615mm tall, the segment-straddling Atto 3’s boot has a cargo capacity of up to 1330L with the 60/40 split-fold rear bench stowed.

The Atto 3 comes with a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, while its battery is covered by a separate seven-year/160,000km term. Order books are open online now via EVDirect.com.au, with a $1000 deposit required.

2022 BYD Atto 3 pricing before on-road costs

VariantTransmissionCost
Superiorautomatic$44,381.35
Superior Extended Rangeautomatic$47,381.35
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