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BYD secures license deal with Ford and GM supplier to use its LFP battery packs for EVs

Leading global EV maker BYD is making big moves to stay on top of the market. Its latest deal gives Ford and GM supplier BorgWarner rights to its BYD Blade battery packs.

BYD signs deal with Ford, GM supplier for battery packs

BorgWarner announced the strategic agreement with BYD’s battery unit, FinDreams. Under the deal, the auto supply giant will be “the only non-OEM localized manufacturer with rights to localize BYD’s Blade LFP battery packs for commercial vehicles.”

The supplier will be the preferred manufacturer of LFP battery packs using FinDream’s Blade battery cells in the Americas, Europe, and other regions in Asia Pacific. The deal is for eight years.

In addition to receiving BYD’s Blade cells to build battery packs, BorgWarner will also gain rights to FinDreams battery’s IP, including the design and manufacturing process.

BorgWarner’s CEO, Frédéric Lissalde, said LFP batteries are “an exciting technology” that’s becoming increasingly important due to its lower prices.

“We believe FinDreams Battery is right for BorgWarner in this area, with its 20-plus years of experience and success in LFP batteries for the mobility sector across China and Europe,” Lissalde explained.

BYD Seal electric sedan (Source: BYD Europe)

BYD dominated the LFP battery market with a 41% share through last November, according to data from the China Automotive Battery Industry Alliance. Chinese rival CATL was second with 33.9%.

The company’s Blade Battery is powering EVs that are already being sold globally. BYD’s Seal, which launched in Mexico in December, has claimed range of up to 435 miles (700 km). And it starts at under $45,000 (778,800 pesos).

BYD Atto 3 (Source: BYD)

BYD’s LFP batteries played a key role in the automaker surpassing Tesla to become the largest EV maker globally in the last three months of 2023.

Meanwhile, BorgWarner, which supplies auto parts to Ford, GM, and Stellantis, to name a few, has recently doubled down on the Chinese market.

BYD Seagull (Source: BYD)

The BYD deal comes on the same day it secured a contract with a major Chinese OEM for dual inverters. BorgWarner also began building eMotor rotors and Stators for XPeng last week. Xpeng will use the parts on its X9 MPV, which will begin production in Q3.

Electrek’s Take

Although many automakers, including Tesla, Kia, Hyundai, and Toyota, already use BYD’s Blade batteries overseas, the move shows how far ahead BYD is.

Ford’s chief operating officer for its EV unit, Marin Gjaja, said at a panel Wednesday in Detroit that cheaper Chinese EVs are a “colossal strategic threat” that will enter the US.

Gjaja said Ford better “get going on EVs, or we don’t have a future as a company,” adding, “They are ahead of us in this technology.”

Top comment by Jim Gagnepain

Liked by 5 people

It's amazing that BYD's equity stock hasn't gone through the roof. They are taking over the EV market, not just with their strides in the US, but around the world. If it wasn't for the 3-year dismal performance of the entire Nikkei exchange, this stock would be double or triple where it stands. BYD will undoubtedly lead the resurgence of the entire Nikkei exchange.

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BYD Mexico CEO Zhou Sou told Nikkei this week the company is considering building a plant in the nation. It will serve as an export hub to the US.

“If I was sitting in China right now running a Chinese OEM, I’d be looking for land in Mexico,” Gjaja said Wednesday. In Mexico, you have “a supplier base, low cost of construction, low cost of labor, and the USMCA trade agreement,” giving you access to the US.

Gjaja said Cheaper Chinese EVs are “going to come here, just as the Japanese ended up here, the Koreans ended up here and the Germans ended up here. It’s a big market.”

Meanwhile, BYD is launching its cheapest EV not too far from the US in Brazil. The BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) will start at $20,100 (99,800 reals) as BYD looks to expand overseas.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising