In September, China’s electric vehicle giant BYD achieved a major milestone when it announced that it has produced 500,000 units of the 2024 Atto 3, a BYD model which was introduced to the public only last year.
The pure electric crossover SUV has become BYD’s best-selling export model which is now the favorite electric vehicle in Thailand (over 14,000 units sold), Australia (more than 10,000 units sold), Singapore, Israel and Sweden, among other countries.
The Philippines is the latest country to welcome the crossover SUV when AC Motors’ Mobility Access Philippines Ventures Inc. — the official distributor of BYD in the Philippines under the Ayala Group of Companies — officially revealed the two trims of the Atto 3 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.
The Atto 3 is the fourth addition to the electric vehicles that the public can buy through AC Motors. Also available are the Han pure electric premium sedan, the seven-seater Tang pure electric mid-size SUV, and the Dolphin pure electric subcompact hatch.
During the presentation, AC Motors chairman Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala said that his company is committed to its goal of becoming the leading EV platform in the Philippines.
“We support the Philippine government’s own ambition of transforming half of all cars on the roads into electric vehicles by 2040,” he said.
The Atto 3 is a potential hit in the country because of its size, price and range. With ample room for five passengers and cargo, the most affordable variant is the P1.598 million BYD Atto 3 Dynamic, which is equipped with a 49.92 kWh battery that provides 345 km of range before getting completely drained.
The Atto 3 Premium, on the other hand, costs P1.798 million and is powered by a larger 60.48 kWh battery that is capable of covering 420 km.
Propelling both variants is a front-mounted electric motor that generates 201 hp and 310 Nm of torque and powered by BYD’s proprietary lithium iron phosphate Blade Battery.
Aside from improved battery space utilization, the Blade Battery offers a new level of safety, durability and performance. According to BYD, the Blade Battery went through a rigorous safety test and has exceeded the required standards of the Nail Penetration Test (the most stringent way to test a battery’s thermal runaway).
Through this test, a simulation was done to see what happens to the battery when a vehicle is involved in a serious vehicular accident. The Blade Battery showed that it can withstand crushing, bending, heating and even overcharging.
Owners of BYD vehicles won’t be having a hard time finding charging stations. The Ayala-led AC Motors made sure that it won’t be a problem and in fact, has increased the number of its available charging stations.
20 charging stations
To date, AC Motors has 20 Electric Vehicle fast-charging stations across seven cities in Luzon.
These can be found in Ayala Land Estates (One Ayala, Circuit Makati, Nuvali Laguna, Vermosa Cavite and Vertis North); Ayala Land Offices (Tower 2 Ayala Triangle, Solaris One, and Baguio Technohub); Ayala Malls (Greenbelt Makati, Glorietta Makati, Alabang Town Center and Trinoma); Ayala Hotels (Seda, BGC); and the Laguna Technohub.
Currently, the charging hubs use 22 kW AC and 60 kW DC fast chargers (for One Ayala) with Type 2 and GB/T connectors. These 22 kW AC and 60 kW DC fast chargers allow EV users to fully charge their vehicles as fast as one to two hours (depending on the model).
When it comes to using a fast charger, a smaller battery takes about five hours to achieve an 80 percent charge while a larger one takes about six hours.
The use of these charging hubs is currently free for EV owners, but eventually payment will be required using cashless transaction through GCash and BPI.
The BYD Atto 3 measures 4.455 meters long, 1.875 m wide, and 1.615 m tall. With a wheelbase of 2.72 m (minimum ground clearance of 150 mm), the Atto 3 is comparable to the popular Toyota Yaris Cross and Ford Territory in terms of size.
Aside from its sleek and modern exterior design, the Atto 3 has a panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, power-folding side mirrors, and roof rails. One can also avail himself of the fancy-looking 18-inch wheels wrapped in 215/55 tires or the 17-inch wheels wrapped in 215/60 tires.
Inside the Atto 3 is a minimalist cabin highlighted by an impressive 12.8-inch touchscreen media display that can be oriented to landscape or portrait mode and where vital functions can be operated.
Connectivity using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are also available, not to mention the Atto 3’s 360-degree camera feed that enables the driver to park hassle-free or see objects that are normally hard to spot without a camera’s aid.
Peace of mind while on the road is important, that’s why Atto 3 made sure to include standard safety and driver-assist features or ADAS like LED headlamps and tail lamps, front and side-curtain airbags, traction control and electronic stability control.
Also included in the ADAS package are the Stop & Go Full Speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking System, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and Emergency Lane Keeping Assist.
The Atto 3 is on display at BYD Makati and BYD Quezon Avenue, where one can request for a test drive or purchase a unit. One of AC Motors’ goals is to encourage people to try and eventually own electric vehicles, and in line with this goal, it has committed to expand its BYD dealership network to 12 in a span of a year.