BYD India unveils Atto 3 SUV, targets sales of 15,000 EVs in CY2023
EV OEM aims to establish the BYD brand and technologies in India by deploying a top-down approach.
Chinese EV giant BYD today unveiled its second passenger-electric vehicle for the Indian market – the BYD Atto 3. The midsize SUV rivals the likes of the MG ZS EV in terms of proportions, but looks significantly advanced in terms of features, technology and its battery pack – a 60kWh unit comprising BYD’s patented Blade cell technology that offers efficient cooling.
While the company has commenced bookings of the new crossover, deliveries are only slated to begin from January, when the prices will be disclosed. BYD India will assemble the Atto 3 from semi-knocked down (SKD) kits at its plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai which currently has an annual capacity of 10,000 units, expandable to 15,000 units over three shifts.
“We are targeting sales of 15,000 units in 2023, combining volumes of the Atto 3 and e6,” Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, SVP, Electric Passenger Vehicles, BYD India, told Autocar Professional. While its maiden product the e6 MPV was launched in India in November 2021, reserved only for fleet buyers, it was made available for private buyers in August 2022. However, the company is envisaging the MPV to have more sales coming from the fleet segment given its practicality, and is expecting the individual buyers to throng towards the more premium Atto 3.
In the first half of FY2023 (April-September 2022), BYD India has clocked retail sales of 264 units (e6 MPVs) and is currently fourth-placed in the EV OEM rankings after Tata Motors, MG Motor India and Hyundai Motor India.
“It (Atto 3) is a premium SUV and we will be targeting premium customers who are in the market for their secondary car, which could be an electric SUV loaded with technology. BYD is a technology-oriented brand and the Atto 3 being a ground-up electric SUV offers a big advantage over its rivals,” Gopalakrishnan added.
Contemporary styling, ARAI-certified range of 521km
The Atto 3 comes with contemporary styling featuring all-LED lights, panoramic sunroof, seven airbags, and a 12.8-inch rotating central screen, complementing a 5-inch digital instrument cluster. BYD India claims an ARAI-certified range of 521km on a single charge from the Atto 3's 60.48kWh battery pack that is compatible with up to 80kW fast charging. The company will bundle a 7kW AC home charger along with a 3kW portable charging box.
While it has no immediate plans to localise its vehicles or technology in India, the company is eyeing to establish the BYD brand in the country with the two utility vehicle models. “We are adopting a top-down strategy and want to first establish the BYD brand and its technologies in India before venturing into other segments. We have a wide range of products globally and we will assess the right products based on the market feedback and consumer requirements,” he said.
With application of BYD’s proprietary technology in the electric powertrain-drivetrain system of the e3 platform that spawns the Atto 3, Gopalakrishnan says that the company’s supplies are quite agnostic to external sources and is confident of having minimal troubles in terms of meeting the demand when the Atto 3 goes on sale early next year. “We will supply as per the demand,” he signed off.
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