Chinese car manufacturer BYD notorious for making electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, is gearing up to start supplying its state-of-the-art batteries to Tesla.
BYD, which is also the world’s largest manufacturer of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles already supplies other automakers including Toyota, with its technology as well as batteries. It is also responsible for developing the innovative Blade battery using lithium-iron-phosphate and said to be a safer & more practical alternative to more traditional battery designs.
In a new interview on a state-owned media channel this week, Lian Yubo, the Executive Vice President of BYD’s automotive engineering research institute, was asked if he sees Tesla as competition. He responded:
“Tesla is a very successful company no matter what, BYD respects Tesla and we admire Tesla too. We are good friends with Elon Musk, and we will soon supply him with batteries. We are friends.”
Tesla currently sources its lithium-iron-phosphate from battery giant CATL and has been using these batteries in the cars manufactured at its Shanghai Gigafactory. CATL has become such an important supplier for Tesla that nearly half of all the vehicles Tesla built in the first quarter were those equipped with Chinese lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. According to Reuters, these LFP batteries serve as a cheaper alternative to the more conventional nickel-cobalt battery cells typically used throughout the West. Tesla sources some of its nickel-cobalt cells from Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions.
Details regarding a battery supply deal between BYD and Tesla aren’t yet known and the two car manufacturers have not provided specifics about the deal. Elon Musk has made fun of BYD in the past and it would be interesting to see Tesla partner with them, however at the same time, Musk said that Tesla would be buying any viable battery cell it can get its hands on. At one time Toyota wasn’t too happy with BYD for copying its designs in the early years of its business, however later the Japanese automaker collaborated with BYD which will enable them to build cost-friendly electric vehicles in China.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com