Chinese electric vehicle and battery manufacturer BYD has signed a contract with Jiangsu Jiujiu Technology to purchase at least 7,870 tonnes of lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) by 2023.
The powder is commonly used as an electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries. Previously, it had agreed with two other lithium producers to purchase a total of at least 13,560 tonnes of LiPF6, also by 2023.
The portal MarketWatch reports on the previous order, citing statements by the two suppliers. The current order from Jiangsu Jiujiujiu Technology is based on a stock exchange announcement by the supplier’s parent company.
Prices for LiPF6 have risen sharply in China in recent weeks. At the beginning of June, a tonne of the material cost around 300,000 yuan (about 39,300 euros), according to commodity price tracker OilChem China – six times the price in June 2020. Currently, the price is more than 400,000 yuan per tonne (52,400 euros). It is not known at what conditions BYD has secured the material.
BYD not only builds cars, trucks and buses (both with combustion engines and plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles), but also its own batteries. Currently, the company is betting heavily on the ‘Blade Battery‘, a self-developed LFP battery.
In China, demand for new energy vehicles, i.e. PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs, is currently on the rise again. In the second quarter, they accounted for 12 per cent of new registrations. In May, BYD had reached a milestone: by then, one million plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars had been produced by the brand.