BYD revealed the ‘blade battery’ after years in development. The novel LFP battery should have a higher energy density and significantly improved safety.
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Electric vehicles equipped with the new battery pack are expected to be far less susceptible to fire, even when severely damaged. At the same time, BYD says that the blade battery’s space utilisation is 50 per cent more efficient than conventional lithium iron phosphate battery packs due to its “optimised battery pack structure.”
The Chinese vehicle giant that began just two decades ago as a mobile phone battery maker says that safety was the primary goal during development of the new battery pack. In their press release, BYD suggests that battery manufacturers are currently prioritising energy density at the expense of safety to comply with vehicle manufacturers’ need to provide vehicles with ever-further ranges. “BYD’s Blade Battery aims to bring battery safety back to the forefront,” says the company in their press release.
In safety tests, BYD cites several examples where the blade battery has performed better than an LFP block battery. In a nail penetration test, for example, the new battery only hit surface temperatures of 30 to 60 degrees Celsius. In comparison, the lithium-ion comparison battery was said to have reached 500 degrees and an LFP block battery was said to have reached 200 to 400 degrees. Even an overcharge of 260 per cent did not lead to a fire or explosion in the cell, nor did being crushed, bent, or being heating in a furnace to 300 degrees Celsius.
“Today, many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology of the Blade Battery,” said He Long, Vice President of BYD and Chairman of FinDreams Battery Co. He added that BYD is happy to share the technology and work with global partners on “mutually beneficial outcomes”.
The first electric car model to hit the streets with the new battery will be the electric sedan BYD Han EV, which is scheduled to be launched in June. The company says the new model will lead the brand’s Dynasty vehicle family, claiming it will have a range of 605 kilometres and acceleration from 0 to 100kph in 3.9 seconds.
Additionally, this technology will not be exclusive to BYD vehicles but will be offered to other car manufacturers through the newly-formed component brand FinDreams aimed at also extending the company’s technology to other third parties. “Today, many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology of the Blade Battery,” added He Long.
Update 16 April 2020: According to unofficial sources, BYD plans to produce 10 GWh of the here presented Blade Battery this year – enough for powering 130,000 BYD Han EV electric sedan, due for launch in June as the first model with the new battery technology. The blade batteries will be produced at the BYD factory in Chongqing, which went into operation in March and has an annual capacity of 20 GWh.