Sina Tech reported on August 10 that the blade battery manufactured by Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD has been delivered to Tesla’s factory in Berlin, Germany, the first plant in which Tesla is using BYD’s new battery. It is expected that Tesla vehicles equipped with BYD’s blade battery can be rolled off the assembly line within a month at the earliest.
The Chinese media outlet also learned from other sources that the Shanghai Gigafactory, which has received much attention, has no plans to use BYD’s batteries for the time being.
At present, Tesla’s Berlin factory mainly produces the Model Y, which means that BYD’s blade battery will be installed in those vehicles first, but perhaps not all. Tesla also trial-produced the Model Y with the 4680 battery pack in Berlin.
Rumors of cooperation between the two parties have a long history, which can be traced back to August 2021 at the earliest. At that time, some media reported that BYD would supply Tesla with the blade battery in the second quarter of 2022, and that the latter had already begun testing the new setup. But the news was never confirmed by either party at that time.
Before BYD, Tesla’s battery suppliers include LG from South Korea, Panasonic from Japan and CATL from China. Tesla’s power batteries in China and the Asia-Pacific markets have been mainly supplied by CATL, and a small portion was supplied by LG. In April, 2021, BYD announced that all its pure EV models would be replaced with the blade battery, so BYD’s blade batteries were mainly used on its own vehicles. Only a small number of blade batteries were supplied externally to China FAW, Changan Automobile, Toyota, Zhongtong Bus and other car companies.
Only recently has BYD seen its own sales volume surpass those of Tesla in the first half of 2022. According to BYD’s financial report, in the first six months of this year, it sold 641,400 new energy vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 314.9%, exceeding Tesla’s global sales of 564,000 vehicles. Benefiting from the surge in automobile sales, BYD once surpassed Panasonic and other established battery manufacturers in the power battery business, and has even managed to overtake LG Energy Solution and CATL in the ferrous lithium phosphate market.
According to company data, the cumulative installed capacity of BYD’s batteries in 2022 is about 34.042 GWh, an increase of 167.90% over the same period of last year. In the first half of 2021, BYD ranked second in China with 8.422 GWh of battery installed capacity, and a market share of 15.7%.