I just lately took a BYD Atto 3 for a check drive – the primary EV I’ve ever pushed. Right here’s what occurred on this momentous event.
However earlier than I launch into this BYD Atto overview, a bit of background on my motoring historical past and reasoning for a shift to an EV. Quick ahead if you wish to skip this.
My first automotive was a Holden JD Camira.
That was adopted by a procession of primarily low cost second hand automobiles – sedans and vans (I miss vans!). The following cease for these automobiles was all the time going to be the wreckers given their ages and situation after I purchased them. Then I purchased a brand-spanking new Nice Wall V240 4WD ute kitted out with a Flexiglass cover, chunky bullbar, customized bash plates and some different crucial trinkets.
No, it was truly a great car for my functions. I wanted a 4WD on the time as I used to be spending a lot of it by myself out within the bush. As quickly as I wasn’t any extra, I removed it. The ute by no means let me down and I found out that if it lasted at the least 5 years I may put a match to it and nonetheless wind up forward of those that had shelled out for what have been a lot pricier 4WDs (and it lasted longer than that).
Subsequent in line was my present car, a brand new Mitsubishi ASX bought in 2018. I’m informed it’s a ladies automotive. I’m comfortable with that and it has been a great, snug, economical and problem-free car.
So, when studying this BYD Atto 3 check drive overview, keep in mind.
- I’m not a automotive nut or significantly educated about them. A automotive is only a software for getting from A to B, safely, reliably, economically and fairly comfortably. If it appears good doing it, nice.
- I don’t think about a automotive an extension of my p…ersonality.
- As talked about, I had by no means pushed an EV beforehand. I did have an electrical quad for getting round my bush block years in the past, however that doesn’t depend.
- I keep away from driving after I can whereas within the mega-city of Adelaide as many drivers listed here are completely insane. There’s quite a lot of ice on Adelaide’s roads – and I’m not speaking the frozen water selection.
- Whereas the Atto 3 check drive was comparatively quick, the analysis main up so far and since has been fairly lengthy.
My Causes For Contemplating An Electrical Automobile
The up-front value of an electrical automotive is scary. I by no means thought I’d think about buying a car costing way more than what my ASX did.
But it surely seems in the intervening time I can promote the 4-year-old very-low-k’s and very-well-cared-for car for not a lot lower than what I paid for it. There’s additionally an EV subsidy in South Australia, which I’m hoping can be round lengthy sufficient for me to learn from.
Assuming stars align, switchover to the Atto 3 will work out to value me across the identical because the changeover to the ASX did.
The sticker shock of an electrical automotive (largely) out of the way in which, there can be fairly a bit to sit up for – comparable to avoiding the petrol pump and charging an electrical car utilizing the 10kW photo voltaic system above my head and a devoted EV charger (undecided on which at this level).
Our photo voltaic panels are at present sending quite a lot of output to the grid for simply 8c a kilowatt hour feed-in tariff, and I even have a 5kW export restrict. Self-consumption is the secret when going photo voltaic, and an EV will definitely assist maintain that. Working from a house workplace means loads of time for day-time charging.
Then there’s the comparative quietness and different little bonuses comparable to free rego for the primary few years; and my way of life pumping much less emissions into our already carbon-dioxide-soaked environment.
There also needs to be some financial savings on servicing; though with the Atto 3 it gained’t be as a lot as another electrical automobiles. BYD has a fairly strict servicing schedule, whereas it seems Elon Musk has kind of stated “eh, no matter – do that, don’t do it” for Tesla automobiles and the guarantee stays in place.
I had heard some scary issues about insurance coverage prices, however on checking with my insurer it solely works out to be round $90 extra a 12 months for a complete coverage.
One more reason for heading down the EV path is my companion’s automotive – a Kia Cerato – is getting on. She covers way more kilometres than me; however we wouldn’t get as a lot for her automotive and it has some helpful years left in it. The concept is we’ll share the Atto for a few years, then we’ll ditch the Cerato for one more EV. No matter that can be, it should function V2H as an alternative of V2L, which is what the Atto affords. However extra on that in a bit.
Settling On The BYD Atto 3 (For Now)
We nonetheless don’t have an important vary of electrical automobiles to select from in Australia thanks partly to a scarcity of gasoline effectivity requirements, which is able to hopefully be rectified quickly.
Because the Atto was on the excessive higher finish of what I used to be ready to pay, that left even much less selection. The one different candidate by way of what I used to be after was the MG ZS EV.
I additionally checked out choices comparable to The Good Automobile Firm, which affords second-hand electrical automobiles introduced in from abroad; a few of which have moderately low kilometres. I nonetheless haven’t completely discounted that chance.
Atto 3 Specs ‘N Such
The Atto 3 is “COOL AND FUN, SMOOTH AND SAFE” – thus states the brochure.
Its dimensions are 4.45m (L), 1.875m (W) and 1.615m (H). It has a laden floor clearance of 150mm and weighs in at 1,680kg for the usual and 1,750kg for the prolonged vary.
It’s a front-wheel drive with single electrical motor producing 150kW of energy and 310Nm of torque. BYD claims a 0 – 100kmh acceleration time of seven.3 seconds.
The Atto 3’s battery – which boasts BYD’s Blade Battery tech – has 49.92 kWh capability for the usual mannequin and 60.48 kWh for the prolonged. The battery chemistry is lithium iron phosphate; broadly considered probably the most steady and protected widespread lithium-ion chemistry.
BYD claims a WLTP mixed driving vary of 345 km for the usual and 420 km for the prolonged. I count on that may be optimistic beneath real-world circumstances.
Different options of the Atto, to call just a few, properly, lots – however not all:
- A bunch of airbags
- Tyre Stress Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
- Electrical Parking Brake System (EPB)
- Digital Stability Program (ESP)
- Traction Management System (TCS)
- Digital Brake Power Distribution (EBD)
- Hill Descent Management (HDC)
- 360° view monitor (which may be very cool)
- 2 radars on the entrance and 4 on the rear
- Cease & Go Full Pace Adaptive Cruise Management (ACC-S&G)
- Computerized Emergency Braking System (AEB)
- Entrance Collision Warning (FCW)
- Rear Collision Warning (RCW)
- Blind Spot Monitoring (BSD)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Conserving Help (LKA)
- Rear Cross Visitors Alert (RCTA)
- Rear Cross Visitors Brake (RCTB)
- Panoramic sunroof – electrical slide material display screen contained in the automotive that retracts while you need to use it, which for me can be by no means.
- Electrical unlock tailgate, one contact open and shut
- Electrically heated, adjustable and retractable exterior mirrors
- ACC and multi-function show
- 12.7cm digital instrument panel
- 60/40 break up fold rear seats
- 6-way energy adjustment for driver seat and 4-way for entrance passenger
- Driver and entrance passenger heated seats
- FM & DAB radio (what’s a radio?)
- Bluetooth – after all
- 35cm clever rotating contact display screen
- Dirac HD sound, 8 audio system – yawn.
- Numerous USB – C and USB – A ports.
- LED headlights with observe me dwelling.
- Excessive Beam Help (HMA) – a will need to have for me.
- Multi-color gradient ambient lighting.
- LED entrance and rear facet studying lights
- Wi-fi cellphone charger
- 12V socket
- Keyless entry & Keyless begin
- Transportable card key
- 4-door window one contact up-down with anti-pinch
- Computerized single-zone air conditioner
- PM2.5 air filter
- Home 3-pin plug AC charger
- DC charging port – CCS 2 (Customary Vary 70kW/Prolonged Vary 80KW)
- VTOL (V2L) – lets you energy home equipment at dwelling or wherever utilizing the car’s battery
- Regenerative braking
- Digicam back and front, which data every journey.
…and the record goes on. There’s a dizzying array of options and a bunch of acronyms I wanted to lookup. A few of these whizz-bang options are why the Atto 3 has a 5-star ANCAP security rating.
V2L And The Apocalypse
Whereas a few of the non-safety bling and bits are a bit gimmicky, a function I discover enticing is V2L, which stands for Car-To-Load. The automotive is able to powering home equipment through a particular cable with a plug on one finish that connects to the Atto’s charging port, and a powerboard on the different finish you possibly can plug home equipment into.
This setup affords as much as 3.3kW peak output and steady output of two.2kW.
It’s not probably the most elegant of dwelling backup power storage options. However we’d be capable of energy some vital home equipment (e.g. fridge, lighting, pocket book) in an prolonged blackout for days.
Assuming we began out with a full battery, there would nonetheless be sufficient juice within the Atto to (possibly) escape the suburbs if stated prolonged blackout is the results of 4 horsemen of the apocalypse rocking as much as Adelaide. Really, issues have been wanting a bit that approach on the weekend.
I heard BYD can be popping out with some Car-To-Residence (V2H) succesful automobiles quickly – and that’s the place issues will get actually attention-grabbing. In our state of affairs, it will put off the necessity/want for a house battery.
Study concerning the variations between, limitations of and purposes for V2L, V2G and V2H.
At The BYD Expertise Centre
The BYD dealership automotive yard Expertise Centre is positioned at 17 Primary North Highway, Medindie. It appeared prefer it was nonetheless but to get some ending touches once we visited in mid-October.
We have been a bit confused on arrival as the primary automotive we noticed was a Tesla. Elon could have been sussing out the competitors.
I’m used to going into showrooms the place there could also be one or two different potential patrons in there; however on today there have been at the least 8 once we arrived. They usually all appeared fairly excited. It had a vibe of:
When the showroom Expertise Centre emptied out late in our go to, I used to be in a position to seize a good pic of an Atto with out anybody crawling throughout it.
The usual color, ski white, is basically attention-grabbing. It’s not among the many regular variations of white you see on vehicles and adjustments with lighting circumstances. It’s laborious to elucidate, however is (for my part) fairly good.
The inside is …totally different, with some odd/bizarre/distinctive touches such because the strings throughout the side-pockets and the funky white pores and skin throughout the sprint. But it surely all appears fairly simple to maintain clear (vital!).
The instrument panel:
Seats are cozy, look simple to maintain clear and there’s loads of room each back and front; even when this picture doesn’t appear to point it.
The cargo space is larger than my ASX and there are two ranges of storage – additional room beneath the ground that I anticipated to have a spare wheel, however there may be none. Apparently that is an EV factor. I don’t assume that area would match one; so a bottle of tyre goo can be the go.
As for what’s beneath the bonnet, properly.. stuff.
The Atto 3 Check Drive
When arranging this check drive, I requested the BYD man1 we do it someplace good and quiet. However earlier than we may take it for a check drive, we needed to signal some paperwork, together with a dedication to pay a $2,500 extra within the occasion of an at-fault bingle. The stakes for this check drive simply acquired greater.
For the check drive, we have been taken to what ultimately turned out to be Dante’s tenth circle of hell – North Adelaide.
Right here’s one of many considerably gimmicky voice management options we tinkered with on the way in which there:
I sounded extra robotic than the Atto woman. She initially had bother understanding my accent; a mixture of Adelaide northern suburbs and New South Wales nasal twang when pressured. You may take a boy out of NSW, however you possibly can’t take NSW out of a boy. Anyway, an attention-grabbing function, though it will have been simpler simply to succeed in throughout and switch the display screen manually; which I assume could possibly be accomplished. Nonetheless, there are a bunch of different voice instructions that can be utilized with the Atto.
On arriving at our check drive place to begin, it was my flip first. On this world of freakishly tall individuals (anybody over 5’6 1/4″), I after all wanted to regulate the seat after the freakishly tall BYD man vacated it. I’ve by no means skilled energy seats earlier than. They’re additionally heated. What a bunch of snowflakes we’ve develop into.
The check drive began off properly sufficient in leafy cul-de-sac that lulled me right into a false sense of safety. It morphed right into a Mad Max situation because the BYD man directed me onto different busier roads. Then we have been caught in a visitors jam for a bit brought on by the aftermath of a car that had been rear-ended (a hybrid oddly sufficient). When passing that ruined car, the $2,500 extra for the check drive popped again into my thoughts.
A lot of what occurred throughout the drive is a little bit of a blur given I used to be primarily centered on warding off each different driver out on the highway out to get me – however that’s a great factor. I wasn’t dedicating a lot mind energy to adapting to the Atto’s dealing with, acceleration and braking – as a result of there was little to adapt to. It was all very clean. Dialog throughout the drive was simple on account of how quiet the Atto 3 was. I may clearly hear the mild whimpering of the BYD man, who was within the again seat reconsidering his profession selection.
My Atto 3 check drive ended on North Highway (!), circling again to the dealership. Even amongst what I perceived to be whole and utter chaos exterior to the car, I used to be extra snug than I’d in any other case be in a automotive I had by no means pushed earlier than in that kind of atmosphere. Whereas a bit bigger (and lots heavier) than my ASX, the Atto 3 didn’t really feel like a tank. It was cool (had the air conditioning on) and enjoyable (properly, my companion had quite a lot of enjoyable laughing at me), clean and protected, similar to the brochure promised.
I reckon the BYD man was fairly glad to get again to the dealership2, but it surely was then my companion’s flip to take it for a spin. She’s a fearless city-driving veteran – and to be feared. However on the wheel of the Atto, she turned a completely totally different driver.
What’s often a white-knuckle expertise for me as a passenger turned very relaxed. This wasn’t simply my companion being on her greatest behaviour. Her driving was merely higher, smoother and she or he took to the Atto 3 like a duck to water.
To summarise, she was hooked and would have left the showroom with the automotive. If we had kids, she would have fortunately handed over our first-born to take supply there after which, and never shed a tear. She was chatting to her mates on-line concerning the Atto 3 that night. I’ve by no means seen her so concerned with vehicles earlier than; and virtually each day since, the Atto and BYD have been introduced up in dialog.
Again on the BYD dealership, we checked out just a few different options together with the nifty 360-degree view monitor, which might be actually useful for somebody with my parking abilities.
The Highway Forward
So, I’ve whacked down my absolutely refundable $1,000 for an Atto 3 pre-order and gone for a check drive. Estimated supply is February/March 2023.
At this stage, I’m round 90% certain I’ll observe by means of – however I’m not signing the gross sales contract I used to be despatched till a lot nearer to supply because the contract has some unsettling points. For instance, with regard to cost (which the contract says can change) and supply date (which the contract says can change).
We don’t need to be locked right into a shopping for a automotive that might probably value much more and never be delivered for two years. Whereas I perceive that’s extremely unlikely to occur, the contract wording – as I perceive it – permits for it to occur.
So, we’ll anticipate a bit and see what occurs by way of each.
BYD has had just a few hiccups introducing the Atto in Australia; together with a discount in guarantee, some back and forth on servicing prices and the current kafuffle over the automotive missing an accessible prime tether baby restraint anchor level within the centre place on the again seat (now resolved).
How A lot Does An Atto 3 Price?
On the time of writing, the Customary is $44,381, and the Prolonged $47,381. Three different colors can be found, which is able to set you again an additional $700. On prime of which can be the same old on-the highway prices. I opted for the Prolonged mannequin in ski white and the drive-away worth is famous as $49,931. However that’s earlier than any subsidies/incentives.
BTW… BYD Atto 3 Guarantee
BYD affords a battery guarantee of 8 years or 160,000 kilometres; whichever comes first. I nonetheless must overview that extra fastidiously and ask just a few questions. The car guarantee is 6 years or 150,000 kilometres; once more – whichever comes first (beforehand it was 7 years). *And*, there are some gadgets with shorter guarantee protection – amongst them the AC/DC charging port meeting (3 years/60,000 kilometres).
Summing Up And Additional Info
Should you’re eager about shopping for an EV, I believe the Atto 3 is properly price taking for a check drive. Whereas BYD nonetheless isn’t all that well-known in Australia judging by the clean appears I get at occasions after I point out the model, the corporate is *enormous* in China. BYD has been round for a very long time and has had loads of follow within the electrical car area.
For extra info on BYD’s Atto 3 past the shiny digital brochure and this not-so-glossy overview, the proprietor’s handbook will be downloaded right here and the guarantee right here.
For every little thing you’ll want to learn about electrical automobiles, charging and the way it all ties in with dwelling solar energy, take a look at SQ’s EV guides.