EVDirect is boldly plotting to launch a range of affordable BYD electric cars based on dedicated EV platforms in Australia.
The local distributor ambitiously aims to be a top five overall brand in the country with eight separate battery-electric models claimed to land before the end of 2024.
All BYD cars feature its in-house structural lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) ‘Blade Battery’, which is said to be more energy dense, thermally safer, and longer lasting than typical LFP-based packs.
The Shenzhen company is said to also have a dedicated assembly line for the right-hand drive Australian market, partnered with dealer franchisee giant Eagers Automotive Limited to operate showrooms, delivery handovers, and servicing alongside independent mechanic mycar Tyre and Auto.
So what BYD electric cars are confirmed for Australia and when will they be available to buy?What Electric Cars Are Coming to Australia in 2023?
BYD Atto 3: Now available
The BYD Atto 3 small SUV is the company’s first mass-market EV in Australia, with one highly specified model and two battery sizes starting from $48,011 before on-road costs and state incentives.
It launched in September 2022 and has quickly become on of the most popular EVs in Australia – surpassing its direct rival, the refreshed MG ZS EV.
Called the Yuan Plus in China, the crossover rides on a dedicated ‘e-Platform 3.0’, integrates the brand’s thin Blade Battery cells, with Standard Range and Extended Range sizes offering 345km to 420km of range, and and features vehicle-to-load (V2L) as standard.
BYD Dolphin: Q3 2023
The BYD Dolphin is priced from $38,890 before on-road costs and incentives, as Australia's cheapest EV to date with two high-spec variants available. First deliveries will start from around September 2023.
Like the Atto 3 electric SUV, it features a quirky two-tone interior with a marine-like theme, signature 12.8-inch rotating infotainment system, and a 360-degree camera system.
BYD Seal: First quarter 2024
EDITOR'S NOTE: Overseas specifications listed above as a guide.
Dubbed the BYD Seal in its home market, it’s expected to be in line with the Model 3's price at around $60,000. Orders will likely to open in early 2024.
It's available in three powertrain configurations and four variants in China, with single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive options.
The quickest model offers a 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds, while the mid-spec model features up to 700km of claimed range from its LFP-based BYD Blade Battery under China’s lenient testing cycle.
The BYD electric car also sits on the same third-generation EV platform with a long 2920mm wheelbase and small frunk storage space.
It boasts a large 15.6-inch central rotating touchscreen, a 10.25-inch driver’s instrument display, debuts active safety assistance systems based on the Nvidia Drive Hyperion computing platform, and has flush pop-out exterior door handles.
Where is the BYD e6 and BYD T3?
While the wheels are turning for BYD now in Australia, it seemingly had a very soft launch in 2021 with the release of the BYD e6 people mover and BYD T3 light commercial van EVs – which were priced at a sharp $39,999 and $34,950 before on-road costs respectively.
Both the e6 and T3 have been discontinued in Australia.
It’s believed the local distributor only sold a handful of both BYD cars, which are based on internal combustion engine underpinnings. Drive reports only 15 examples of the e6 and 50 examples of the T3 have been sold.
What about other BYD EVs?
Beyond the BYD Atto 3, Dolphin and Seal, BYD Australia and EVDirect are said to be working on bringing a yet-to-be revealed medium electric SUV aimed at competing against the Tesla Model Y and a dual-cab electric ute to introduce a zero emissions alternative to the evergreen Toyota HiLux.
However, both the BYD SUV and ute will likely come in 2024 or later.
Meanwhile, the Shenzhen automaker currently sells the BYD Tang seven-seater large SUV and BYD Han large sedan overseas – both of which were previously promised for Australia in early 2021 and have now been ruled out.
It's clear that plans have since changed. Amid the tight partnership with Eagers Automotive, the distributor has backtracked on its warranty promises and previously set above-average servicing costs – just days from first deliveries last year.
BYD electric car FAQs
Datawrappers by Danny Thai
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