At a time when it seems almost impossible to buy a new car, Caleb Gittins has found that buying a BYD Atto 3 was as easy as ordering takeaway. Not only that, but the car is available with only a 3 month waiting period. EV Direct is making 1500 BYD Atto 3 electric crossovers available per month starting in July (or so I am told). However, July’s shipment is sold out, so if Australians want one, they will now have to order from the August and September shipment.
BYD is one of the largest battery electric carmakers in the world, and even supplies batteries to Tesla. Until recently, BYD mainly sold cars in China. Now they are available to private citizens in Australia. BYD has previously tested demand with small shipments of the Yuan Plus (now called the Atto 3), T3 van, and e6, particularly for use as taxis in Sydney.
Being brave might mean you get your new car sooner, but Caleb still found it scary to order a car online without test driving it or even seeing it in the flesh (so to speak). Still, he decided to boldly go. …
He is excited about getting his new car, but has mixed emotions because he has only seen the car in videos.
I asked him why he chose a BYD. He explained that he had been looking at EVs for a while to replace his petrol-powered GM Cruze. He finished paying it off 12 months ago and was waiting to see what was available that offered value for money. His partner (who drives a Tesla) gave him the tipoff. Google and YouTube provided the information he needed to make a decision.
When the preorders opened, he put in his preferences and made the leap of faith. The preorder is refundable should he change his mind. The BYD (Build Your Dreams) model had the price, range, and features that suited his driving needs. BYD has been in touch by text, so he knows he has a contact if he needs questions answered. EV Direct has also kept in touch. He has been informed that his car is now in production and he can log into his account for updates. He has already had text messages from BYD finance offering to help finance his purchase.
The car will be delivered to Caleb through Mycar from Stafford in Brisbane. I asked how his friends have reacted to his purchase. His response was quite enlightening. “Everyone is being positive. It is no longer a big deal buying an electric vehicle. Mind you, they were surprised that I haven’t had a test drive. It was just like buying a computer online.”
For a $1000 deposit, you can have your car in August. Blue, gray, or white are available. Colors other than white cost a little more. A red will become available in September. The Atto 3 comes in Long Range or Standard. If you put in your postcode you will be told where you can pick it up. Caleb has ordered the Long Range — 420 km for $49,000, including on-the-road fees. The vehicle comes with a 7-year unlimited-km warranty. The warranty on the battery is 7 years or 160,000 km.
Ongoing service will be provided by mycar.
BYD is just starting to build its ecosystem of support in Australia. It will take time for confidence to grow.
Update: Caleb has now been to Sydney and seen the car in person. “Hey David I went and checked out the car today — looks great in person. Definitely happy with my choice. They said test drives should be happening at the end of June in all cities,” he said in an email tonight.
Apparently, the showroom was quite crowded. Looks like confidence is growing fast.
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