“Europe has had its eyes closed for a long time,” summed up Pere Brugal, director of passenger vehicle sales at BYD about the wave of electric cars arriving from China. Precisely at BYD they have put on the suit and tie for the official presentation of the company in our country.
And he has done it in style, having a first contact with the BYD Atto 3, an electric car that aspires to set the standard in the C segment and of which we will soon have a first contact. But also with the BYD Han and the BYD Tang, its most advanced electric cars.
BYD… what is BYD?
But before we focus on the vehicles, we will focus on the brand. What is BYD? It is a Chinese firm that is much more than a manufacturer of electric vehicles. BYD is immersed in the whole chain of electric cars, since it also produces batteries, semiconductors, heat pumps and urban mobility vehicles such as buses or rail transport. Its offer is highly diversified.
In fact, the firm has more than 100 factories in China alone to carry out its products, employs more than 600,000 people, has 28,000 approved patents and has applied for the approval of another 40,000 patents. It is an Asian giant that has operated in our country with some urban buses.
Atto 3 WORLD
In China, electric and plug-in hybrid cars bring them into the same category which they call “new energy”. Taking cars in this category into account, BYD manufactured a total of 150,000 units last January. In February they reached 192,000 units and, despite everything, these are far from the 235,000 units produced in December 2022 alone. In 2022 alone, 1,868,543 vehicles of this type were registered.
Although in 2019 we were already talking about BYD in Xataka, it has been now that they have finally landed in our country. Along the way there has been a first foray into Norway that has preceded Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria. All of them are markets where the brand has been reaching in recent months.
While all this was happening and in Europe a hypothetical ban on combustion cars was being discussed, in China they were taking positions. It is no coincidence that BYD points directly to the segment premium. For equipment, materials used and technology, they can perfectly. And, in addition, they achieve it by offering more for less money.
Growing to the point of taking small but solvent steps into everything that builds an electric car allows them to be ambitious with their intentions. His weapons: control the entire industrial process of an electric car.
In fact, BYD has put up for sale the three models that we will see below. An SUV with up to seven seats, a huge saloon in the E segment and an SUV to fight in one of the most controversial markets, the C segment. All of them have immediate delivery. “Having our own platform, producing our batteries, semiconductors and heat pumps allows us to not depend on third parties“, they point out from the company.
BYD futures platform
For the next models, the so-called e-Platform 3.0 that already mounts its BYD Atto 3 allows them a huge variety of bodies. The battery, called Blade Battery, is integrated into the chassis, increasing its structural rigidity and shock resistance. It is of the LFP type and does not use nickel or cobalt, which allows them to reduce costs and take advantage of a safer battery with less degradation during its useful life.
This new battery has a different structure from the conventional one. Until now, batteries have been made up of cells that are grouped into modules and that scale up to make up the entire battery pack. In this case, BYD skips the grouping in modules, which allows you to save up to 50% space. They assure that in their safety tests they have come to insert nails and, despite this, the battery has not exploded as usual, it only increased its temperature by 15 degrees.
To this “hidden” part we must add everything that it offers to the user. And it is a lot. From screens that rotate on themselves to a significant commitment to autonomous driving systems. These are your cars.
Atto 3 WORLD
We will expand more on the smallest of the range in our article with its first impressions, but we can tell you that it is an electric SUV from the C segment that stands out for its good endingsa wide habitability and a very soft and simple behavior.
It is a car that measures 4.45 meters that arrives armed with a 60.48 kWh battery and that promises 420 kilometers according to the WLTP combined cycle and up to 565 kilometers in the city. Its electric motor has a power of 150 kW (204 CV) and supports loads of up to 80 kW.
Its starting price is 41.400 euros in its base version and 42,900 euros for the most equipped. Both, yes, have a wide variety of driving aids and come with an offer in which an 11 kW Wallbox domestic charger is delivered, a warranty extended by two years to the four offered by the brand or 150,000 kilometers (of eight years for the battery) and with the option to get it from 300 euros per month, taking advantage of its financing conditions.
The largest SUV has up to seven seats in 2+3+2 configuration. In this case we are talking about a huge car that impresses inside and out. The finishes here resemble what we might find in a large American SUV, both for interior and exterior aesthetics.
It is a car that measures 4,870 meters long and 1,650 meters wide. It mounts an 86.4 kWh battery and promises 400 kilometers in the WLTP combined cycle. An official consumption of 23.8 kWh/100 kilometers, undoubtedly penalized by a huge frontal area. It has two motors (one per axle) to deliver 380 kW (517 hp) and 680 Nm, which allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.
It supports charging powers of up to 110 kW and comes equipped with a 12.3-inch screen for the dashboard and a 12.8-inch screen for the infotainment system, which also rotates or spectacular 265/45 wheels with rims. 22 inches. Its price: 69.990 euros.
THE WORLD of Han
THE WORLD of Han
Practically the same mechanical configuration but with a radically different approach has the BYD Han. Its luxury sedan is an electric car of 4,995 meters long and 1,910 meters wide. And that shows inside, with a rear area that shines for having two huge reclining seats with ventilated and heated seats and an auxiliary screen in the center to control some functions of the car.
Therefore, it also has the same 86.4 kWh capacity battery and its two motors (one per axle) generate up to 380 kW (517 hp) and 700 Nm, to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3, 9 seconds. However, it gains a lot of autonomy with a Cx of 0.23 that allows it to reach 521 km according to the WLTP combined cycle and up to 662 kilometers in the urban cycle.
In this case, it admits load powers of up to 120 kW and its central screen reaches the 15.6 inches. The one that serves as a dashboard remains at 12.3 inches. Its appearance, with front and rear Full LED headlights, is much sportier and directly attacks the large sedans of the competition. It also starts at 69,990 euros and its top-of-the-range version (with very few changes) reaches 74,000 euros.
The rear seats of the Han have their own climate control and a seven-inch auxiliary screen to control some functions of the car.
need to convince
What challenge does BYD have ahead? A simple, straightforward and basic one: to convince. Although its more than 40,000 euros (without MOVES III Plan) can be scary in your Atto 3, the truth is that the car comes very well equipped and, above all, its finishes are up to that price.
With few exceptions, the materials are good, they are well finished and the car fits perfectly in the type of use that most customers will give it: a day-to-day car useful for short weekend getaways.
From the kind of potential customer for a BYD Atto 3, I don’t think the company needs to worry. They are people who, if they have decided to spend that money on an electric car, it is very likely that they already know the brand and have certain interests in seeing what are you offeringwithout prejudice related to the origin of the manufacturer, because they are enthusiasts of this type of mobility.
The one that BYD will have to convince is the buyer of its larger vehicles. They are very well finished electric cars, which look really good and which, statically (we have not been able to test them) convince whoever rides on them. They have extensive equipment and the BYD Han, their sedan, has car solutions that cost tens of thousands of euros more.
To make itself known among this type of public, BYD has partnered with Astara, Caetano and Quadis, some of the most powerful distributors in our country. They already have two of their own spaces (Madrid and Barcelona), Malaga, Seville, Valencia and the Canary Islands are underway for an upcoming opening.
If they manage to seat potential customers in their cars, they have a lot of cattle to try to break that psychological barrier when we talk about a “Chinese electric car”. For their part, they have plenty of technology.
In Xataka | We thought we were fed up with subscriptions. The industry has reasons to trust the electric car
Photos | xataka
Leave a Reply