BYD to enter India with Atto3, E6; will showcase at Auto Expo 2023

The world’s highest selling electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is planning to enter the Indian EV market with an SUV, the Atto 3, during the festive season this year in a bid to capture a significant share of the market in the country.

“We are getting significant traction for our vehicles in India from corporate customers. We want to expand further into the personal buyer’s space with our SUVs,” said Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, Senior Vice President of BYD India’s Electric Passenger Vehicle Business, according to Reuters.

The Atto3 will rival Hyundai’s Kona EV and MG Motor’s ZS EV and is expected to cost around ₹25 lakh and have a range of over 450-500 km on a single charge.

Buoyed by the positive response from corporate and fleet customers towards its E6 MPV, which saw 450 units being sold, BYD feels it is now time to shift gears.

The Chinese manufacturer has a well-established Blade battery technology which enables electric vehicles to travel 450-500 kilometres. And this technology is being used in a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corporation.

In 2007, BYD had set up a plant in Oragadam, near Chennai for production of electronic parts, batteries, and mobile phones. Since 2016, it has been providing batteries and bus chassis to Olectra from its Sriperumbudur assembly plant.

BYD will now assemble its passenger vehicles from the same plant. Around 100 people are to be hired and the capacity would be increased to 10,000 electric vehicles.

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From the 12 dealerships across 12 cities now, the company will expand to 18 cities with 24 outlets within 6 months depending on the response it gets for its EVs.

BYD, which has the financial backing of Warren Buffett, overtook Elon Musk’s Tesla this year, selling 6.4 electric vehicles as compared to 5.64 lakh of the former.

BYD will also have an exhibition of its vehicles at the Delhi Auto Expo 2023. There will be a wide range of products on display, including hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs, as well as the famous Blade battery technology, which has a range of over 450-500km.

“We are planning to showcase our vehicle architecture and battery technology at the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo, with a long-term vision of participating in the growing EV business in India,” Gopalakrishnan was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Unlike several Chinese vehicle manufacturers finding it difficult to set up bases in India due to tight screening by authorities, BYD is not likely to face such problems as it has an existing infrastructure.

Gopalakrishnan said they would explore setting up manufacturing facilities later.

“Our long term vision is grab 10-15% market share of passenger electric vehicle space by 2030, but how we reach that is yet to be defined. The initial target is to sell 10,000 Evs for which we have a set up. The next set for local manufacturing will be explored next year,” he said.