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.
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.