BYD launches Atto 3 EV in South Africa

30th June 2023 By: Cameron Mackay - Creamer Media Senior Online Writer

BYD launches Atto 3 EV in South Africa

The Atto 3 is BYD’s first launched EV in South Africa

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD) has officially launched its battery-powered Atto 3 crossover model EV in the South African market.

At a launch event in Melrose Arch on June 29, BYD confirmed that the standard and extended Atto 3 ranges would be sold at a five-year, 100 000 km warranty and service plan.

The vehicles will sell at R768 000 for the standard and R835 000 for the extended models.

“I would like to welcome all of South Africa to join BYD in realising the vision of lowering the earth’s temperature by 1.5 °C,” BYD South Africa GM Steve Chang said at the launch.

The Atto 3 is a compact sports-utility vehicle (SUV). The EV is powered with a single front-wheel-drive electric motor and has a peak output of 150 kW and 310 Nm torque.

The Atto 3 standard model comes with a 50 kWh battery capacity, while the extended model contains a 60.5 kWh battery.

The standard model has a range of 345 km and the extended model 420 km.

Powering the Atto 3 model is BYD’s in-house developed blade battery technology, the safety of which was illustrated by BYD displaying a video of the blade battery passing a nail penetration test at the launch.

The test is seen as one of the most meticulous methods to test the thermal runaway of batteries.

In addition to the safety aspects of the battery technology, other benefits include a high starting temperature for exothermic reactions, slow heat release and low heat generation.

Use of space in the battery pack – which uses lithium iron phosphate for the cathode material – is also increased by over 50% compared with conventional lithium iron phosphate block batteries.

This, in addition to many other safety features, has contributed to the vehicle being awarded a five-star independent European New Car Assessment Programme safety rating.

The Atto 3 has a charging capacity of 88 kW direct current (dc).

The Atto 3 is built on 400 V electrical architecture and supports maximum alternating current charging, as well as dc fast charging.

The EV has a boot that offers 440 ℓ of cargo capacity, with a maximum of about 1 338 ℓ.

The Atto 3 is also equipped with the BYD e-Platform 3.0, which is designed exclusively for pure EVs.


An important feature of the Atto 3 is its vehicle-to-load (V2L) support, which allows the vehicle’s battery pack to supply standard 120/240 V power.

The vehicle supports up to 3.3 kW power output with this feature.

This means that the vehicle can be used as a power source for South Africans during times of loadshedding, particularly given the country’s power supply challenges.

During the launch event, BYD displayed this element by powering a coffee machine using power from an Atto 3.