Chinese media outlet cls.cn reported on Thursday that BYD, a major Chinese EV and battery manufacturer, will supply Tesla with “blade batteries” in the second quarter of next year, and that Tesla models equipped with “blade batteries” have entered the Type C testing stage. BYD has so far declined to comment on the matter.
In March 2020, BYD officially released its “Blade Battery” model, and in July of the same year, the firm’s flagship Han EV was released, loaded with the new technology. According to BYD, this battery adopts lithium iron phosphate (LFP) technology via structural innovation, greatly improving its volume utilization rate and safety.
Blade batteries are long and narrow, up to 2 meters in length and only 13.5 mm thick, different from the traditional cylindrical power battery cells. Although the blade battery is still a lithium iron phosphate battery, and no breakthrough has been made yet regarding the overall battery structure, its volumetric energy density has been improved by 50% compared with traditional lithium iron batteries.
BYD disclosed last month that all of its PEVs had been replaced with blade batteries and the company was actively expanding its production capacity to cope with the sales increase of subsequent models and to supply them to external customers.
At present, the upgraded Made-in-China Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is equipped with CATL’s LFP battery. In June 2021, CATL announced another supply agreement with Tesla to provide car batteries until 2025.
According to China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance (CAPBIIA), CATL installed 25.76 GWh power batteries installed into vehicles during the first half of this year, taking the top spot among all China-based battery makers with a market share of 49.1%. The runner-up was BYD, whose installed battery capacity reached 7.65 GWh, accounting for 14.6% of the market. BYD’s current market share is less than 1/3 that of CATL’s.
On the evening of August 5, BYD released its July sales report. In July 2021, BYD sold 50,492 NEVs, with a total of 205,100 vehicles this year and a cumulative year-on-year increase of 170.62%. In July, BYD NEV’s total installed capacity of power batteries and energy storage batteries reached about 3.001 GWh, with the total installed capacity this year standing at about 15.708 GWh.