BYD brand launched in Thailand – distributor Rever targeting top 5 spot in 5 years, Atto 3 EV is first model – paultan.org
BYD has officially set up shop in Thailand. The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) specialist’s local partner and distributor is Rever Automotive, led by Pratarnwong ‘Pok’ Phornprapha, the third generation heir of Siam Motors Group, an old name in the local car industry associated with Nissan in Thailand.
The group has big ambitions. Rever CEO Pratarnwong Phornprapha declared that it is aiming for BYD – a Warren Buffett-backed carmaker that’s now a Fortune 500 company – to be among the top five biggest carmakers in Thailand in five years time, reported by Headlightmag.
This is Thailand we’re talking about, the “Detroit of the East” dominated by Japanese carmakers who have deep roots in the market. To be top five, BYD will have to displace some giants. And it has no pure ICE models, having decided to focus only on EVs and plug-in hybrids.
To achieve that tall order, the Pornprapha Group will invest over three billion baht (RM378 million) to build its dreams. Pratarnwong says that this budget is only for the first phase, and of the total, 450 million baht will be for marketing during the first two years and another 150 million for setting up infrastructure and IT systems.
The aim is for BYD to have 31 dealerships with sales and after-sales services across Thailand by 2022, before increasing the network to 60-70 locations by 2023. The company is working with Thailand’s SHARGE to roll out more public charging stations across the country.
The first BYD model for Thailand will be the BYD Atto 3. Already on sale in Australia and confirmed for Singapore and Japan (all are right-hand drive markets like Thailand), the Atto 3 sits on a dedicated e-Platform 3.0 for EVs, and is a 4,455 mm long SUV (Proton X50 is 4,330 mm). It uses BYD’s own Blade EV battery.
The battery is available in standard 50.1 kWh and extended range 60.4 kWh forms, with WLTP range of 320 km and 420 km respectively. AC charging is up to 7 kW with a Type 2 connection, while a CCS connector allows for DC fast charging up to 80 kW. With the latter, 20-80% state of charge can be achieved in 45 minutes. There’s also support for bi-directional charging (vehicle-to-load or V2L), like the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The Atto 3’s front-mounted electric motor makes 204 PS and 310 Nm of torque, which propels it from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.
The BYD EA1 Dolphin is another EV that is set for an early-2023 launch in Thailand. The five-door electric hatchback is powered by a single 177 hp/290 Nm motor, which is good for 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h. The 44.9 kWh Blade battery pack provides a range of 405 km on a single charge (NEDC). AC charging at 7 kW takes 6 hours and 25 minutes, while DC fast charging at up to 60 kW will refill the battery from 30-80% SOC in 30 minutes.
The Dolphin will be gunning for the cat. Great Wall Motor’s Ora Good Cat has received good response in Thailand due to cute retro-modern looks, great EV specs and super attractive pricing due to Thai government EV incentives. The Good Cat had its price cut in June and now retails from just RM95k to RM120k in the Land of Smiles. That’s 959,000 baht for the 63.1 kWh Ultra with a 500 km claimed range. This is the first bar for BYD. SAIC’s MG also has a strong electric presence in Thailand.
What do you think of BYD’s cars? Check out this sleek Seal and let us know in the comments.
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