BYD’s EV world domination is well underway here. Within the past few weeks, the brand announced new versions of its popular models, with the Yuan Plus (sold as Atto 3 in international markets), being the latest model subject to price cuts. Dubbed the “Honor” edition, 2024 facelift versions of BYD’s EV, hybrid, and PHEV lineup add new equipment and colors along with shaved pricing that should make the models more competitive in China. 

BYD Yuan Plus Honor 3

Aside from an upgraded heat pump, the Atto 3/Yuan Plus is mechanically about the same as the car from the year before. However, for the Honor edition, the brand introduced a new color called “Black Knight,” and refinished some of the exterior brightwork in a similarly muted dark grey color. The interior has similarly been subdued, with a black and grey color interior scheme (with green contrast stitching) replacing the blue and white versions.

Most importantly, the Yuan Plus gets a hefty 16,000 RMB ($2,200) price cut, or about 11% cheaper than last year’s car. It's not clear if the facelifted Honor edition model's changes or price cuts will appear on the international Atto 3, but Japan has received some of the Honor edition's changes. 

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BYD starts a price war with Gas Cars

BYD officially surpassed Tesla as the best-selling EV manufacturer. Yet, that's not enough for the giant, because it has declared war on gas cars. Price cuts to most of its lineup for 2024 put its EV, hybrid, and PHEV models in the sights of its gas-powered equivalents from Western brands. 

This isn’t the only price cut or Honor edition, either. The very popular BYD Dolphin received a similar refresh where received a bevy of minor upgrades, including the fully independent multilink rear suspension from models sold in Europe. Even with the upgrades, BYD shaved about 5% of the price for 2024. BYD has made cheaper Honor editions of the Han, Tang, Seal, Song Pro, Qin Plus, and more – all with price adjustments that are anywhere from 5 to 15% cheaper than the year before.

It’s very clear that BYD is very much aiming to dominate the entire car market, regardless of propulsion type. About two weeks ago, BYD remarked on Chinese social media that it was starting a new era where “electricity is cheaper than oil.” At least on paper, and only thus far for Chinese car buyers, BYD is really making good on that promise.

These updated models have undercut the pricing of some of its gas-powered rivals. For example, the 2024 BYD Yuan Plus Honor edition, is priced below cars like the Honda XR-V (HR-V), and Volkswagen T-Cross. This no doubt is an attempt to keep BYD’s products competitive in a Chinese EV market where growth is slowing. With prices like these, BYD hopes to not only decimate the goals of other EV manufacturers but also entice gas car buyers into making the switch to EV power. 

Gallery: 2024 BYD Dolphin Honor Edition

Although this is a positive step for the EV revolution, it might not be great news for our own home brands, like Tesla. The facelifted Tesla Model 3, dubbed Highland, (sold as the Tesla Model 3+) has already had several price cuts in China. Some analysts and critics say that despite the facelift, the Model 3’s updates aren’t enough to help an aged product. By comparison, BYD is constantly updating its product line and introducing new models. Even Zeekr has updated its 001 station wagon EV for 2024, cutting prices so it’s right in line with the Tesla Model 3.

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If Tesla’s going to keep its stronghold in China, it’s going to have to get real creative, because BYD has declared war.

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