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There’s a new EV coming to Australia: How does it compare to a Tesla?

There’s a new EV coming to Australia: How does it compare to a Tesla?

Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) market will see a new manufacturer enter this year, with the arrival of the BYD Atto 3 expected in July.

The Atto 3 is Chinese automotive company BYD’s (which is short for Build Your Dreams) mid-sized electric SUV. Some of its features include AC and DC charging ports and 220v emergency charging cable, 45-minute (approx.) charge time with Super Charger DC MAX (80kw), and an electric panoramic sunroof.

BYD’s Australian importer, EVDirect, has ambitions to outsell Tesla as the top-selling EV brand in the country in its first year of sales.

Sales figures released by the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) earlier this month revealed that Tesla topped the list for highest-selling battery and plug-in hybrid EVs in 2021 with its Model 3 recording 12,094 sales.

Despite many car manufacturers reporting stock shortages due to supply chain issues, BYD claims it has the capacity to import 1500 vehicles each month from its July launch.

How does it compare to a Tesla from a price and finance perspective?

With the entry-level Atto 3 priced from $44,381 plus on-road costs, it may not enter the market as the cheapest EV on offer. The MG ZS EV, for example, which took second position in the highest-selling battery and plug-in hybrid EVs in 2021, is priced from $33,300.

However, it does offer a much more accessible price point than the Tesla Model 3 which is priced from $59,900.

Additionally, it may allow buyers to avoid paying the luxury car tax (LCT) as set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). According to the ATO, the rate of the LCT is 33% of the value of the vehicle above the luxury car threshold. For the 2021/22 financial year, the threshold is $79,659 for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Some Tesla buyers may avoid the LCT, but those buying higher trim levels will likely be stung with this extra charge. BYD buyers will avoid the tax altogether, with even the highest trim level clearing the threshold.

Based on pricing guides advised on CarsGuide, we’ve put the BYD Atto 3 up against the Tesla Model 3 to see how they compare, and what the repayments could look like on the new lowest rate green car loan on RateCity’s database.

Hypothetical EV car loan repayments on BYD Atto 3 and Tesla Model 3

Vehicle Price guide Median price 

Monthly repayments (based on median price)  

 Total repayments (based on median price)
 BYD Atto 3

$44,381 - $47,381

$45,881$822$49,331
 Tesla Model 3$59,900 - $86,742$73,321$1,314$78,834

Source: CarsGuide.com.au, RateCity.com.au

Note: Hypothetical calculations based on 5-year term at interest rate of 2.89%. Does not factor in rate fluctuations or fees. Data accurate as of 23/02/22.

Keep in mind that not all borrowers will be eligible for the lowest rate green car loan on RateCity’s database, and interest rates can fluctuate.

If you’re looking for a green car loan to help fund your EV purchase, consider using RateCity’s range of comparison tools, including our green car loan comparison table and car loan calculator, to find what may work best for you.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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