BYD has reportedly received 10 GWh of orders from Tesla for LFP batteries

BYD Blade Battery prismatic cells
BYD Blade Battery prismatic cells

Right now CATL is Tesla’s sole supplier of LFP (LiFePO4) battery cells, but BYD seems to be the next on the list.

 

According to Chinese media, Tesla has secured an initial order of 10 GWh worth of LFP battery cells from BYD, to power the Model 3 and Y in their standard range versions.

10 GWh is enough to assemble more than 181.000 battery packs for the Tesla Model 3 with 55 kWh each, or more than 166.000 for the Model Y with 60 kWh each.

 

Currently, the LFP battery packs of Tesla made with CATL’s battery cells only reach an energy density of 126 Wh/kg, but BYD’s Blade battery packs are more energy dense and have already reached 150 Wh/kg.

 

People that worry about LFP’s poor performance on low temperatures, actually have nothing to worry about. Thanks to a powerful and efficient TMS (Thermal Management System), LFP battery packs can perform extremely well even at an ambient temperature of -20º C.

BYD Blade battery with thermal management

BYD Blade battery with thermal management

 

For instance, we reported a self-heating lithium ion battery structure with an embedded nickel foil as an internal heater, which achieves a heating speed greater than 1 °C per second, meaning that, even in the extreme cold of −30 °C, it takes only 90 s for the battery to warm up to 60 °C before operation (driving).

Thermally modulated lithium iron phosphate batteries for mass-market electric vehicles

 

Therefore, if you live in a very cold place you could use your smartphone to quickly pre-heat your electric car and its battery before leaving home.

Not only the cobalt-free BYD Blade battery packs have good energy density, performance, safety and longevity, they currently also have the lowest kWh price, estimated at 55 euros (64 USD).

 

Anyway, you probably already know what I think about BYD’s cobalt-free Blade battery. In my opinion it’s the best EV battery pack available right now by far, so, if this rumor is soon confirmed to be true, it’s great news for Tesla and EVs in general.

 

However, I do expect that even better alternatives to BYD Blade battery begin to appear in the coming months from CATL, SVOLT and Guoxuan. Long prismatic LFP battery cells combined with silicon or graphene dominant anodes – for extremely fast charging – will be the next biggest thing for electric vehicles.

In a year or two, the best electric cars will take less than 10 minutes to charge 80 % of their batteries at fast charging stations. With such fast charging speed, future EVs won’t need to keep increasing their battery capacities to become great alternatives to ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles.

A cheap 60 kWh cobalt-free battery that charges in less than 10 minutes will be more than enough for most family electric cars that will have efficient 800-volt systems. For smaller electric cars, 40 kWh will probably be enough to make them competitive against their current gas-counterparts.

 

What do you think?

 

 

More info:

https://cnevpost.com/2021/10/21/byd-reportedly-has-secured-10-gwh-of-lfp-battery-orders-from-tesla/

https://www.cls.cn/detail/856654

https://sci-hub.se/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-00757-7

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.

18 Responses

  1. Marcos Henz says:

    The future is now ACTUALLY coming!
    About time we have cheap and performing EVs. This is what we need to replace the ICE fleet once for all… we need plenty of choices.
    Tesla will help consolidating the solution, as LFP have not yet been associated to high quality for the big crowds.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Indeed.

      Even the Korean battery cell makers that previously dismissed LFP as a cheap low-quality Chinese battery chemistry are getting on board.

  2. liion says:

    Like HAL9000 would say ‘i’m afraid that’s not possible’:
    For a 500kg battery pack with a Cp for the cell around 1400J/kg.K, increasing the temperature of it by 1°C in 1second would mean a 700kW power drain…
    +1°C possible maybe in 60s (~12kW), So +60°C in 1h.
    Chinese are very good but still can’t beat the laws of physics.

    • Ted Mueller says:

      Exactly! I would expect instant combustion!

      • Harry Brielmann says:

        from what I have read simply warming the batteries gets the job done without too much power loss.

    • Auric says:

      I have not recalculated your numbers to confirm or falsify them. to me they look correct so far.

      I just want to point out that only the LFP cathode has a cold problem, the rest of the cell has no problems with the cold.

      Your calculation based only on the mass of the cathode looks IMHO a bit 😉 more favorable. 

    • Dezhi says:

      Although I am not convinced that the embedded heating foil is that powerful, you do not have to heat the whole battery pack, you only need to heat the cells, and maybe only the internal of the cells. The research was done by Penn State University in the USA.
      The other point is that how much energy will be required from the battery pack to keep the battery cells at 60 degree C.

  3. Marcos says:

    “A cheap 60 kWh cobalt-free battery that charges in less than 10 minutes will be more than enough for most family electric cars that will have efficient 800-volt systems. For smaller electric cars, 40 kWh will probably be enough to make them competitive against their current gas-counterparts.”

    100% my opinion,

  4. Alain Belanger says:

    They already pushing for Q4 300000 cars ??

    • Rodri says:

      It may be but counting the combustion models they also make. In Q3 they sold 183k NEV vehicles (HEV + PHEV + BEV). Of them ~92k were battery-only vehicles (or real EVs if you ask me).

      Anyway BYD is growing fast after some past years stagnant at about 500k vehicles/year.

  5. Frederico Matias says:

    60kwh with energy efficient drivetrains (like kauai/eniro/tm3)…. is more than enough for regular use…

    Hey, I have a 18′ 40kwh leaf and is our main family car (daily 60kms) as other gas car only makes daily 5-6kms…. Weekends always with the Leaf :)… only once we went on weekend on ICE due to lack of chargin infrastructure at the time (2019 in Portugal)…if it was today, we would go by Leaf 🙂

    • Pepe says:

      Esos motores son poco eficientes estan poco evolucionados Lucid ya tiene eficiencias de 12kWh cada 100 kmEPA y dice que en tres años aumentara mas de un 20% . 10 kWh cada 100km EPA La eficiencia de sus motores
      Con 60kWh de bateria Lucid Air tendria 500 Km de autonomía EPA en tres años mas de 600km EPA

  6. Famlin says:

    Teslas great move to equip all standard range models with LFP. Definitely they have to go to another supplier, but is it BYD who have to sell so many cars, vans, buses and other heavy vehicles and still do they have enough batteries to supply Tesla. Thats doubtful. BYD had only 3 pure ICE vehicles on sale and 1 of them will be discontinued by this month leaving only 2 in production.

    Will 2021 see a 1:1 ratio between LFP : NCx. It was 3 : 5 in 2020.
    Both batteries are good in a World dominated by petrol & diesel.

  7. Maximilian Holland says:

    Great – this will only help to accelerate the switch away from fossils.

    BTW – IIRC, doing the math on the MIIT document, the first LFP version of the Model 3 was around 56 kWh usable (perhaps as high as 58.9 kWh usable), and maybe ~61 or ~62 kWh gross. They may (have already) tried to increase this a little bit (1-2 kWh) to ‘match’ the range of the previous NCx versions.

    If we can get 10-80% in 10 minutes with affordable LFP, that’s a level of ‘convenience’ already more than convincing to even the most extreme sceptics.

    • liion says:

      according to Munro’s live video of the Model 3 LFP pack opening, there’s not much space left in the pack…It contains 106 cells each 162Ah for a total of 55kWh gross.

  8. Rodri says:

    Impressive achievement for BYD to win this contract. In the “Fully Charged” show they gave a 30-80% charging time of 30 minutes which is not great. Hope we can soon have access to the charging curve of this Blade 3.0 car.

  9. Harry Brielmann says:

    I think you have it exactly right. I have been researching the battery chemistry since Whittingham’s 1976 paper and it’s a shame that AK Padhi wasn’t included for the discovery of the LiFePO4 battery which all eyes have turned to over the last few months. I also agree that improving the anode is the next battle and silicon seems the way to go if they can deal with or get around the expansion problem. I wonder what the currently available blade battery is using for a cathode. I also wonder if cobalt containing batteries will be phased out completely by tesla…do you know if tesla can switch to LiFePO4 4680 batteries in-house?

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