BYD launches the Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Lionel Kong

At under S$180k with COE at launch, the high-tech, crossover SUV from Chinese carmaker BYD could really shake up the automotive retail scene in Singapore


The electric car scene here is continuing to gain momentum as BYD launches its strongest mainstream EV to date here with the Atto 3. With a maximum power output of 150kW, or 201 horsepower, a claimed driving range of 480km, and a special launch price of S$178,888 with COE when you trade in your old car, it’s a serious challenger to cars like the MG HS plug-in hybrid and Hyundai Kona Electric

BYD passenger cars are sold in Singapore by Vantage Automotive, which also retails the Peugeot and Ford brands under the same roof at 305 Alexandra Road. Before the arrival of the Atto 3, the  BYD showroom had already been selling the BYD M3e and  BYD e6 electric vehicles.

See the full walkthrough of the BYD Atto 3 here!

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

If you’ve not yet seen the Atto 3 in person, you could be in for a big surprise as it’s a huge step up from the more utilitarian BYD electric cars that have been rolling around in Singapore.

The Atto 3’s design and build quality inspires plenty of confidence. Measuring 4,455mm in length, it is slightly smaller than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The Atto 3’s design and build quality inspires plenty of confidence as well, with an overall form that looks very sleek and original. The spacious cabin is built to show that this car is an EV from ground up, rather than a converted petrol engine chassis.

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

Unlike the totally button-less surfaces of a Tesla Model 3, BYD’s engineers understand that some toggles are still best left as tactile buttons and the Atto 3’s cabin is a mix of touchscreen interface and buttons on the steering wheel and centre console. If you’re the type that can’t decide whether you want the centre screen to be vertically or horizontally oriented, BYD has you covered with a motorised, rotatable 12.8-inch touchscreen. As far as we know, it’s an industry first. 

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

A lot of the components in the car, from the door handles to the gear lever, look to have been taken straight out of concept cars ideas with their bold designs. Unlike, say, a Hyundai Avante that tries to tread the thin line between a conservative, recognisable car interior and forward design, the BYD Atto 3 simply goes all out.

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

That’s not to say that the Atto 3 is just an outlandish design exercise for the sake of it. As a practical, five seater urban EV, it has a lot going for it. The spacious cabin features a flat floor, USB Types A and C charging ports, a wireless phone charging deck on the centre console, and even a built-in, onboard video recorder.

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

Recording through the car’s onboard video camera, it not only records driving footage outside the car automatically but also acts as a sort of black box, recording your use of turn signals and brake pedal application. In the event of a crash or incident, this would be helpful to the traffic police in ascertaining what went wrong.

The Atto 3’ s operating system is BYD’s own DiLink software, and it promises over-the-air updates to customers with some additional features to come before the end of 2023.

BYD Atto 3 wheel in Singapore

The car’s platform rides on fully independent front and rear suspensions, which is a step up from the linked rear suspensions of many other crossover SUVs including the Honda HR-V. It’s front-wheel drive with a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 160km/h. The car has a claimed range of 480km on the NEDC cycle, which is a different test pattern to the more commonly used WLTP cycle that continental cars are typically tested on.

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

It has a modestly sized 60.5kWh battery and a high speed DC charging capacity of 80kW. The claimed energy consumption is 14.9kWh/100km, which is impressively efficient and even better than the BMW iX3’s claimed efficiency. The car uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, packed in BYD’s proprietary Blade Battery safety cell packs, which has the batteries arranged in modular sets lengthwise. This makes it easier to troubleshoot and replace individual cells should they ever go bad. 

BYD Asia Pacific general manager Liu Xueliang with the BYD Blade Battery display
BYD Asia Pacific general manager Liu Xueliang with the BYD Blade Battery display

BYD goes mainstream in Singapore

The BYD brand has already been in Singapore for 10 years, noted the brand’s Asia Pacific general manager, Liu Xueliang. In Singapore for the launch of the BYD Atto 3, he pointed out to us that when the whole electric vehicle market was still in its infancy here, the brand decided that it would be worth a shot to get a foot through the door through the private-hire vehicle fleet.

The BYD brand could now be on the edge of a serious mainstream breakthrough here, especially since it’s now already SIngapore’s best-selling EV brand so far  in 2022, knocking out even Tesla.

“BYD did not start with building cars,” said Liu. “We are primarily a battery and electronic component manufacturer. Today, about 60 percent of components used in mobile smart phones worldwide are actually sourced from BYD.”

BYD Atto 3 in Singapore

The brand also has a collaboration with Toyota in developing EV platforms, though Liu did not comment on whether or not the new Toyota BZ4X EV was actually one of the results of such a collaboration. There’s also industry talk that BYD will be supplying batteries to Tesla in the near future.

“Electric vehicle take up rate in Singapore is like everywhere else in the world, a lot of it depends on government support and infrastructure development. BYD has proven that we are industry leaders with the present generation of passenger cars, and it’s not just about building cars as the end goal. It’s about improving the quality of life of people who drive them,” added Liu. He also revealed to CarBuyer Singapore that there plans to start selling more BYD electric cars here in 2023, including the BYD Dolphin, which is also known as the Atto 2, a small hatchback EV.

BYD Dolphin
The BYD Dolphin, or Atto 2, could be coming to Singapore soon as well

Meanwhile in Singapore, it is generally accepted that the running cost of an EV is typically about one third of a comparably sized petrol engined car. However high road taxes for EVs are still a bugbear. 

Checking the Land Transport Authority’s online road tax calculator reveals that a Honda HR-V with a 1.5-litre petrol engine has an annual road tax of just S$686 annually, while the BYD Atto 3 with its 150kW motor will cost S$1,796. Whether or not it is worth considering a mainstream EV, you will also need to factor in costs like these as well. 

Still, Singaporeans are latching onto EVs really quickly. BYD has confirmed that more than 100 orders for the BYD Atto 3 has already been received before the launch.


Atto 3 byd electric car SUV

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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