Rental car company Sixt Australia will receive 500 examples of the BYD Atto 3 electric car from China – the sixth battery-powered vehicle in its local fleet.
the BYD Atto 3 will be available for hire across Australia from mid-2023, with the Chinese automaker’s local dealership signing an exclusive deal with NRMA-owned rental company Sixt.
BYD has partnered with Sixt Australia – formerly known as Thrifty – to deliver “at least” 500 examples of the Atto 3 electric SUV to the rental car company by February 2024, with the first electric SUVs becoming available in mid-2023.
According to Sixt Australia’s website, the electric cars are available for hire at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Launceston airports.
Priced at US$48,011 plus road cost for private buyers, the BYD Atto 3 is the second cheapest electric car in Australia, behind the MG ZS EV (US$43,990 plus road cost).
Despite shipping from September 2022, the BYD Atto 3 was the best-selling non-Tesla electric car in Australia last year, posting 2,113 sales in the last four months of the year.
The BYD Atto 3 is powered by a front-mounted 150kW/310Nm electric motor powered by two batteries – a 49.9kWh pack (with 345km range) or a larger 60.5kWh pack, which increases its range to 420 km.
The rental company has not yet announced how much the rental of the BYD Atto 3 will cost.
“The BYD Atto 3 is an exclusive offer from Sixt for anyone looking to rent one in Australia,” said Matthew Beattie, CEO of Sixt Australia, in a media statement.
“Customers renting any electric vehicle (EV) from Sixt can charge for free for the entire rental period using the NRMA EV fast charging network and the national Chargefox network.”
Sixt Australia claims the partnership with BYD is part of its plans to convert half of its 16,000-strong fleet to electric propulsion “in the coming years”, although it hasn’t announced a specific date for the switch.
Over the next five years, global rental car giant Hertz will partner with Volvo spin-off Polestar to maintain 65,000 vehicles worldwide – with the Polestar 2 sedan launching at select locations in Australia.
The rental car company has also ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3s for its global operations, with Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr citing the lower maintenance costs of electric cars as a factor.
In April 2021, Europcar Australia added the MG ZS EV to its fleet – the cheapest local electric car at the time, with a departure price of US$44,990.
Though not a rental car company, utility provider AGL offers the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq and Mini Electric through a subscription service that allows its customers to try out the electric cars for a week.
Australian carsharing start-up Evee allows users to rent or lease electric cars directly from their owners, similar to Airbnb’s business model.
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