The electric vehicle market in Australia will have a new player from mid-year when the long awaited entry from BYD hits our shores. The Atto 3 will be priced from $44,990 making it the most affordable EV in Australia.

BYD isn’t mucking around either adding a production line just for the Australian market as indicated to EFTM last year when we drove the left-hand-drive version of the larger BYD Han in Sydney. EV Direct’s CEO Luke Todd says that should add capacity for 15,000 vehicles per year. If they sell through that amount, they will be the #1 EV player in Australia in an instant. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

There are two models of the BYD ATTO 3 on offer, the standard and extended range – with the entry level being $44,381 and the extended range $47,381.

Both fall well under the Government EV rebate threshold so you’re going to get back some cash ($3k in NSW) almost instantly.

Drive away, on the extended range model could hit $51,713.35 in NSW if you include on-road costs, the $700 optional Blue colour and at home delivery in a regional area ($695).

City buyers will pickup their cars from a participating MyCar store, the old Kmart Tyre and Auto stores, who are the delivery and service partner for BYD in Australia.

The pricing will be appealing to many, with another quality option at the $40k mark a great win for EV consumers.

MG’s ZS EV seems to have dropped off the MG website, and must be a challenging buy given supply demands, and as a non pure EV (built on a petrol platform) it’s hardly comparable – this is a unique and solid EV vehicle.

However, a lot must change in 12 months, the man behind BYD’s business in Australia had hoped to launch their first car at $30-35,000 – the $35k mark has been widely reported. So in reality, it’s disappointing to see the BYD Atto 3 hit at the mid $40,000 mark. I assume there’s a smaller BYD coming, but again – that means a compact hatch at $30-35k when a Petrol compact hatch is easily $15k less – so that equivalence is a real issue. Supports my theory that Government rebates don’t drive down prices for consumers, they just allow car companies to keep charging higher amounts.

Personally, I can’t wait to drive the BYD – it’s a genuine Tesla challenger, and if done right the brand can be a big player in Australia. The next 18 months is key.