Tesla is said to have entered into an agreement to buy BYD’s new “blade batteries” in a partnership that not many people would have predicted.
Last year, BYD, a China-based electric vehicle and battery company, introduced its new bladed battery cell.
The new cells use LFP chemistry, but the new form factor, which looks like a blade, is the real innovation enabling a safer cell and higher energy density at the pack level, according to the company.
BYD wrote in a press release:
While undergoing nail penetration tests, the Blade Battery emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated, and its surface temperature only reached 30 to 60°C. Under the same conditions, a ternary lithium battery exceeded 500°C and violently burned, and while a conventional lithium iron phosphate block battery did not openly emit flames or smoke, its surface temperature reached dangerous temperatures of 200 to 400°C. This implies that EVs equipped with the Blade Battery would be far less susceptible to catching fire – even when they are severely damaged.
While this feature obviously offers great safety advantages, it also delivers thermal management improvements, and BYD claims the form factor enables energy density improvements by eliminating the need for modules.
It goes directly from cell to pack, not unlike Tesla’s structural battery pack technology.
BYD is using the new cells in its upcoming electric vehicles, but it also said that it was working with other automakers to introduce the cells in new vehicles.
He Long, vice president of BYD and chairman of FinDreams Battery Co., commented at the launch of the new blade cell last year:
Today, many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology of the Blade Battery.
They didn’t disclose which brands, but today a new report came out claiming that Tesla is one of them.
Chinese media CLS reports that Tesla will be buying BYD’s blade batteries for deliveries in Q2 2022:
The Financial Associated Press, August 5, the reporter learned from a number of people familiar with the matter that BYD is about to supply Tesla with “blade batteries” in the second quarter of next year. The Tesla models currently equipped with “blade batteries” have entered the C-sample test phase. In this regard, BYD said it “does not comment.”
BYD refused to comment, but it didn’t deny the report, while Tesla didn’t comment at all.
For those of you who have been following Tesla for a long time, you’d probably think that this is an unlikely partnership.
If it’s true, of course. I would still classify that as a rumor, but it looks likely since BYD is not denying it.
Years back, Elon Musk was asked about what he thinks of BYD, and the CEO literally just laughed at them:
But that was a long time ago, and BYD is still alive and strong today.
BYD also builds electric trucks, buses, and it produces battery cells. But their electric consumer vehicles are not necessarily their strongest asset.
While Tesla has recently started using LFP chemistry in its vehicles in China, it would a big change for the automaker to use this new cell format.
However, it does enable a cell to pack technology and we know this is something Tesla is trying to do with its new 4680 cell and structural battery pack technology.
But the format is completely different here.
Yesterday, we reported that people should temper their expectations about Tesla’s upcoming $25,000 electric vehicle as rumors are stating that it could go into production early next year.
We noted that Tesla is going to need a lot of cheap battery cells to make that happen. Maybe those cells could be it, but that’s just speculation at this point.
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