BYD buys Rayong land for Thai EV plant, ASEAN hub

BYD has purchased a 96 hectare piece of land in Rayong, Thailand’s auto hub that’s south of Pattaya. The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) specialist will set up an EV factory in the eastern province, and the facility is expected to roll out 150,000 cars a year from 2024, Reuters reports.

BYD announced this last week in a joint statement with WHA Group, a Thai industrial developer. The Rayong factory is set to be a big export hub to ASEAN and beyond for the Warren Buffett-backed company. Of the total annual output of 150k, only 10,000 units are earmarked for domestic sales, with the rest going to ASEAN and European markets.

This follows the news that BYD’s new Thailand distributor, Rever Automotive, is set to launch its first CBU model on October 10. The BYD Atto 3 will will be close what Australia gets in terms of specs. The Extended Range variant will debut next month at around 1.2 million baht (RM146,809) and the Standard Range will launch at the end of 2022, possibly at the Thailand International Motor Expo.

BYD buys Rayong land for Thai EV plant, ASEAN hub

Deliveries of the Atto 3, known as the Yuan Plus in China, have just started in Australia. There, customers can choose from the Standard Range for A$44,990 (RM137,364) or the Extended Range for A$47,990 (RM146,523), before state-specific EV incentives. The Extended Range price is similar to the expected Thai price with government incentives.

The neat-looking electric crossover features a front-mounted 204 PS/310 Nm electric motor, which is good for 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. The Standard Range comes with a 49.92 kWh battery offering 345 km of range (WLTP, 410 km if NEDC), while the Extended Range gets a 60.48 kWh unit that’s rated at 420 km (WLTP, 480 km if NEDC). The in-house Blade EV batteries support AC charging (Type 2 connection) up to 7 kW as well as DC fast charging (CCS2).

For the latter, the Standard Range can take in 70 kW max, while it’s 80 kW for the Extended Range, the higher input allowing for 0-80% state of charge in 45 minutes. One can also charge appliances via V2L (vehicle-to-load) at up to 2.2 kW.

BYD buys Rayong land for Thai EV plant, ASEAN hub

Kit-wise, it’s the same for both range variants in Australia. The list includes 18-inch wheels with 215/55 tyres, LED exterior lighting, panoramic sunroof, powered tailgate, 5.0-inch digital instrument display, 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic air-con with PM2.5 air filter, synthetic leather upholstery, powered/heated front seats, wireless charger as well as keyless entry and start with card key.

On the safety front, there’s seven airbags, a 360-degree view monitor and a full ADAS pack. Down Under, the Atto 3 comes with a six-year/150,000-km warranty plus an eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty. What do you think of the BYD Atto 3? Currently, the Hyundai Kona Electric e-Lite at RM156,538 – duty-free but with SST – is the most affordable EV in Malaysia.


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