Sime Darby Motors has inked a new distributorship deal with Chinese EV maker BYD for the Malaysia market, marking the marque’s official entry into the country. The announcement comes just two weeks after it was first reported that the two companies have been in talks for a distributorship agreement.
Following the signing of the distributorship agreement, two BYD models have now been confirmed for Malaysia, namely the Atto 3 and e6, although no timeline has been announced yet.
The BYD Atto 3 is a fully-electric crossover, with a single electric motor on the front axle making 150 kW (201 hp) and 310 Nm of torque. Depending on variant, the Atto 3 can be optioned with up to a 60 kWh battery pack, enough to provide up to 420 km (WLTP) of range.
Charging is handled by the 7 kW on-board AC charger, or alternatively with a DC fast charger, which supports up to 70 kW or 80 kW of power depending on battery capacity – the latter allows for a 0-80% charge in 45 minutes.
Now already available in Australia, the BYD Atto 3 is slated to go on sale in Thailand next month. BYD also recently announced plans for a new production facility in Thailand, with a goal to produce 150,000 vehicles per year earmarked for the right-hand drive markets within ASEAN and Europe. Production operations at the new plant is scheduled to begin in 2024.
The e6 meanwhile is a fully-electric MPV, with a 71.7 kWh sending power to a front-mounted electric motor, capable of producing 70 kW (95 hp) and 180 Nm. The large battery pack translates to a WLTP range of 522 km, and can be recharged via an AC charger at up to 40 kW (taking 1.8 hours), or DC charger at up to 60 kW (1.5 hours).
The BYD e6 is also now available in Singapore, where the brand is under the guardianship of Sime Darby Motor’s subsidiary, Vantage Automotive.
“In line with our commitment to encourage EV adoption amongst Malaysians, we are pleased to welcome BYD to our stable of world-class brands, enabling us to continue growing our EV pipeline of models,” said Sime Darby Motors managing director, Andrew Basham.
“BYD is the world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles and this partnership will bring BYD’s expertise to the Malaysian market through a wide range of EV models. Our collaboration with BYD is one of the steps Sime Darby Motors is taking towards our aim of becoming a leader in EV. This is also aligned with the Malaysian government’s push towards low carbon mobility,” he added.
Meanwhile, BYD Asia Pacific Auto sales division general manager, Liu Xueliang said, “Malaysia is a key market for our expansion, as there are vast opportunities for the EV ecosystem to grow and evolve. Given its proven track record and well-established presence in the automotive sector in the Asia Pacific region, we look forward to partnering with Sime Darby Motors to serve Malaysia’s growing EV demand.”