BYD reveals Aussie electric dreams, plans to expand

Australia’s second biggest electric car brand will open another 30 retail stores and more service centres in the nation as part of a push to overtake leading vehicle makers.

Executives from BYD and its Australian partner EV Direct made the commitment on Monday at the launch of a Sydney electric car service hub.

The announcement comes after BYD revealed plans to open three “megastores” in Australia and after it claimed the title of the nation’s second biggest-selling electric vehicle brand, following Tesla.

BYD Asia Pacific sales general manager Liu Xueliang announced the company’s new local commitment at the launch of the BYD Service and Support Centre in Mascot.

The company will open 30 retail outlets over 18 months, he said, in addition to securing more electric vehicle stock for Australian buyers.

EV Direct chief executive Luke Todd said the expansion was part of the company’s plan to become one of Australia’s top five car brands.

“We’ve seen the BYD brand grow substantially in the first 18 months of trade within Australia,” he said.

“We now have three high-quality EVs on the market, all priced under $50,000.”

BYD sells three electric vehicle models in Australia – the Atto 3 SUV, Dolphin hatchback, and Seal sports car – but Mr Todd said it planned to launch another two models next year, including an electric hybrid with “extremely long driving range”.

The company’s Sydney service centre would also serve as a panel repair shop and offer retraining for mechanics looking to work with electric vehicles.

BYD was the second best-selling electric car brand in Australia in October, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, with sales of more than 1000 during the month and 9700 vehicles during the year.

US brand Tesla dominates the local electric car market after selling almost 40,000 electric vehicles this year.

Traditional automotive brands still top the car ranks in Australia, FCAI figures showed, with Toyota, Mazda and Ford winning the top three spots in October.

Of the three, only Ford will sell a battery electric car in its fleet this year, with the Mustang Mach-E due to arrive later this month.

The number of electric vehicles imported into Australia could get a boost with the introduction of a fuel-efficiency standard, however, as outlined by the federal government in its National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

A draft of the law was expected to be released by the end of the year but has been delayed.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


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