Tesla may begin sourcing batteries from BYD

Tesla plans to use blade batteries from BYD with LFP cells from the second quarter of 2022, according to rumours from China. Tesla electric cars with BYD batteries are already in the “C-sample test phase”.

The rumours come from the portal cls.cn, which refers to information from the Financial Associated Press. The brief report says, referring to “a number of people familiar with the matter”, that BYD will “supply Tesla with blade batteries in the second quarter of next year”. BYD would not comment on the information to the portal.

Further information – apart from the statement that the Teslas equipped with Balde batteries have entered the “C sample test phase” – is not contained in the short message. It is therefore not clear in which models the BYD batteries will be used. As is well known, Tesla relies on LFP cells from CATL for the standard range versions of the Model 3 and Model Y produced in China.

Either Tesla wants to test and establish an alternative supplier for the standard range models here, or it could be the planned new entry-level model. This model, preemptively called the ‘Model 2’, is being developed in China and, according to information from January, will cost between 150,000 and 200,000 yuan (the equivalent of about 19,000 to 25,000 euros).

At the beginning of the week, there were rumours that Tesla had completed the first prototype of this vehicle. Test production is planned for the end of 2021, and the supply chain is being established. The information goes back to the well-informed Twitter user @Ray4Tesla.

BYD had unveiled the blade battery in March 2020. The LFP battery is said to have a higher energy density and be safer compared to other batteries with this cell chemistry. Later, BYD stated in another announcement that the battery should last for 1.2 million kilometres or 3,000 charging cycles.

BYD never gave exact figures on the alleged higher energy density. According to PushEVs, BYD is supposed to achieve 140 Wh/kg at pack level. With the LFP cells that CATL supplies to Tesla, on the other hand, only 125 Wh/kg are said to be possible. At cell level, the blade batteries, which have been given this name because of their unusually large and long cells, achieve up to 166 Wh/kg. The cells are 905 millimetres long, 118 millimetres high and 13.5 millimetres wide.

BYD uses the Blade battery in its Han EV electric sedan and Tang EV electric SUV, among others – but it was announced from the start that external customers would also be supplied. In March 2021, there were rumours that BYD was in talks with Hyundai about supplying the LFP cells for its China models.

cls.cn (in Chinese), cnevpost.cominsideevs.compushevs.com


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