BYD expects to start mass-producing NCM 811 batteries next year

BYD power battery factory in Western China’s Qinghai province

Yesterday BYD opened its third battery plant in China, with a production capacity of 24 GWh. By 2020, BYD expects to reach a total production capacity of 60 GWh worth of batteries.

60 GWh equals to one million electric cars with 60 kWh battery packs.


Let’s see the press release below:

“New energy company BYD today opened a 24GWh power battery factory in Western China’s Qinghai province as it prepares to increase total production capacity to 60GWh by 2020. The technologically advanced factory, which is equivalent to the size of 140 football fields, will be the largest in the world after its construction is completed in 2019. It is also BYD’s third battery factory in China after Shenzhen and Huizhou.”


Bloomberg adds more interesting information:

“Like BYD, the company known as CATL is also building a 24-GWh factory. That’s scheduled for completion around 2020 and will help CATL expand its production capacity to 88 GWh by that time. BYD expects its total battery-making capacity to reach 28 GWh this year, and rise further to 48 GWh and 60 GWh in 2019 and 2020, said He Long, a vice president who heads the battery business.”


BYD and CATL combined expect to reach a total production capacity of 148 GWh worth of batteries by 2020. This is enough to equip 2.466.666 electric cars with 60 kWh battery packs.


Last, but not least Bloomberg reports the following:

“Sherry Li, BYD’s marketing head, said the company is in talks with some European and U.S. carmakers to explore cooperation, which includes the possibility of setting up factories overseas. The Chinese government is trying to consolidate the auto industry and establish a few world leaders among automakers and component suppliers. Regulators are also urging automakers to install batteries with higher energy density and longer range. BYD expects to start mass-producing its more advanced NMC 811 batteries next year, He said.”


By 2020, virtually every automaker will have at least one electric car model on sale and battery makers know it. Yet, to reach the increasing production targets, they need to adopt the high energy dense NCA or NCM 811 cathode chemistries that don’t rely heavily on scarse and expensive raw materials, such as cobalt. Only with low cobalt content batteries we can expect to see electric vehicles becoming mainstream.

As you can see in the chart below provided by Frontera in 2017, current battery production goals are much higher than they were a year ago. Moreover, the actual production capacity has risen exponentially since 2016.


Battery cell production targets by manufacturer


While there is still a long way to go until every vehicle on road is electric, it’ll happen much faster than most anticipated. People just don’t like to spend money on obsolete technology and once they try an electric car, they never want to go back to a gas burner.



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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3 years ago

Considering increase in energy density, by the end of the 2020 there might be as many as four diffrent manufacturers with around 100 Gwh/yr capacity: Tesla/Panasonic, Catl, LG Chem, Byd. The whole Industry capacity might go over 500 Gwh/yr. At 50 kWh per car(averaging both bevs and phevs) – 10 milion Evs in 2021 – and frankly i don’t know if there is enough demand at this stage. We might actually see some overcapacity issues.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mg

There will more likely still be a battery shortage as that is sill only low single digits as to what the overall car market is and if you take into account the utilities starting to switch to batteries to save money…
Well the cheaper batteries get the higher the demand and their price is dropping constantly….

3 years ago
Reply to  Mg

I don’t think your pumping up the 175 GWh of planned capacity (if you just sum up the projections in the chart) due to increasing energy density has roots in reality.

Nearly one million EVs sold globally in 2017, admittedly a number that includes many silly PHEVs (and a few not so silly). I guess 1.8 million this year. Perhaps 3 million in 2019, and 5 million in 2020..?

Speculative, but it doesn’t look to me like overcapacity is the most likely scenario!

Tom Houlden
3 years ago

They could supply effectively 20-25% more capacity if motor efficiency suddenly jumped 20-25%. This article says new existing tech can do that AND make batteries last longer & apparently charge faster due to less heat! What do you experts think of this?…:

3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Houlden

I don’t know what they mean by increasing motor efficiency by 25%, but it certainly isn’t percentage points. Maybe it means to reduce loss by 25%. Motors are 95% efficient today, so if you reduce the 5% loss by 20% you get a 96% efficient motor…

There’s not very large efficiency gains to be made in the powertrain, compared to the best today. Aero could potentially be much better, but it’s hard to see how unless people can be convinced to accept some pretty radical changes (say, four seats in a row instead of 2+2, combined with lying down more than sitting).

3 years ago

Likely that the factory(s) will not run at full capacity for a good while, capacity and throughput are different beasts!

Tom Houlden
3 years ago

They don’t seem to have left any room for misinterpretation: “Heavy, physical use of power, motors and compressors, are going to immediately reduce their energy consumption maybe 20, 25 percent”. (The possibly-less-clear “efficiency” was my own wording)

Also, for batteries: ” ‘we can see dendrites and sulfites growing and can react with corrective action in microseconds.’ SDE can supply the battery with perfectly synchronized electricity, eliminating waste heat and extending its life.”

They also do say that the technology “could vastly enhance our understanding of electricity” & “directly challenges a lot of conventional wisdom in the field”