BYD, a Chinese automaker known for producing electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, is preparing to begin providing Tesla with its cutting-edge batteries.
BYD, the world’s leading manufacturer of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, already provides technology and batteries to other manufacturers, including Toyota. It is also responsible for the development of the Blade lithium-iron-phosphate battery, which is touted to be a safer and more practical alternative to more standard battery designs.
Lian Yubo, the Executive Vice President of BYD’s automobile engineering research institution, was asked if he sees Tesla as a competitor in a recent interview on a state-owned television station this week. He replied,”
“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 presently gets its lithium-iron-phosphate from battery manufacturer CATL, and it has been utilizing these batteries in its Shanghai Gigafactory automobiles. CATL has become such a key supplier for Tesla that Chinese lithium-iron-phosphate batteries were used in approximately half of all Tesla vehicles made in the first quarter.
These LFP batteries, according to Reuters, are a less expensive alternative to the more common nickel-cobalt battery cells used in the West. Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions supply some of Tesla’s nickel-cobalt cells.
The terms of a battery supply arrangement between BYD and Tesla are unknown at this time, and the two carmakers have not published any information about the transaction. Elon Musk has mocked BYD in the past, and it would be intriguing to see Tesla collaborate with them, but Musk has also stated that Tesla will acquire any viable battery cell it can get its hands on.
Toyota was initially upset with BYD for stealing its ideas in the early years of its operation, but the Japanese manufacturer ultimately partnered with BYD to produce cost-effective electric vehicles in China.
To read our blog on “BYD outperforms Tesla in battery metal push,” click here.