Currently reading: New BYD Atto 3 confirmed for UK sale in the coming weeks
Chinese EV brand to launch first UK showrooms during Q1; sales to begin shortly after

Chinese giant BYD will begin selling electric cars in the UK in the coming weeks, following the launch of its first showrooms in the country.

The firm has partnered with Arnold Clark, Lookers, LSH Auto and Pendragon, with an initial run of dealerships slated to launch in “critical regions” by the end of March.

The UK launch represents BYD's return to the UK, having previously sold the e6 electric crossover in limited volumes – primarily to private-hire fleets.

It is the next step in BYD's European expansion plans – set into motion last year with launches in Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway – and comes as the firm targets four million sales in 2023.

Initially, only the BYD Atto 3 will be sold in the UK. The first model to use the firm’s new e-Platform 3.0 architecture, the 201bhp, front-wheel-drive crossover is a similar proposition to the MG ZS EV, both in size and performance. The Atto 3 offers a 261-mile range on the WLTP combined cycle, charging at rates of up to 80kW and with a 7.3sec 0-62mph time.

Byd atto 3 41

Energy is stored in a 60.5kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery (containing no cobalt) that BYD calls the Blade. Said to be 50% more energy-dense than a conventional lithium ion unit, the Blade Battery has been developed to "resolve issues in battery safety while also redefining safety standards for the entire industry".

At the launch of the power pack last year, BYD showed how it could withstand a nail penetration without suffering thermal runaway in the same way as more commonly used battery chemistries, thereby reducing the risk of fire.

BYD has started to offer the battery to other manufacturers, including Toyota, which will use it in the Chinese-market bZ3 saloon. BYD will also use the batteries in models from its new luxury brand, Yangwang.

In Europe, the Atto 3 will be sold alongside the BYD Han, a Tesla Model 3-rivalling executive saloon, and the BYD Tang, a seven-seat SUV that has been offered in limited volumes in Norway since July 2021. The Han and Tang are not planned to come to the UK, although the new BYD Seal, a compact Model 3 rival, has not been ruled out. 


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BYD is one of several China-based EV firms aiming to capture significant market share in Europe, along with rivals Aiways, Great Wall Motor and Nio. All three are set to begin UK sales by the end of 2023, although Great Wall beat the others to the punch: it entered the market late last year with the Ora Funky Cat.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Gerhard 23 January 2023

Good news! I just hope they don't end up being sold for excessively high prices. 

BYD could have planned to set up a SKD facility here and used Britishvolt batteries if the company had been better supported...

Marc 25 January 2023

It isn’t good news, far from it. This company has a questionable record for battery safety, and the Chinese Govt recently banned all news of it appearing from any media outlets in the home market. Buy one, use it and charge it very carefully and keep it well away from your house.

ianp55 19 January 2023

The interior certainly is very eye catching and quite appealing are other colours available? pricing will of course critical but at least BYD have had the sense to use established retail chains to sell their products,very interested to see what pans out 

Peter Cavellini 17 October 2022

 Pity they didn't give them more Western style names, I mean, take Dolphin for instance, going to sound odd when your mate says, where did you park the Dolphin?, it's not just the origin of the cars, it's the model names