Rumor: BYD To Supply Tesla With 10 GWh Of LFP Batteries

A new rumor about a battery supply agreement between BYD and Tesla emerges in China, after the first one in August, which was later denied by BYD.

According to (via CnEVPost), BYD has secured a contract for 10 GWh of LFP batteries. If it’s 10 GWh per year, it should be enough for over 160,000 electric cars with 60 kWh battery packs.

Tesla is shifting its entire standard range EVs to LFP battery chemistry globally (energy storage systems too in the future), and the entry-level Model 3/Model Y produced in China are already equipped with CATL’s LFP cells (you can see an example pack here).

A diversification to engage BYD sounds reasonable, but it’s not officially confirmed.

Moreover, it’s not known whether Tesla would use BYD’s batteries produced in China, or a new production line would be launched in the U.S. or even in Europe. As far as we know, BYD’s plant in Lancaster, California is only for electric buses, trucks and battery systems (not the cells).

PushEVs notes that BYD Blade Battery has a relatively high energy density on the pack level, at up to 150 Wh/kg (see the specs of all-new BYD Yuan), compared to CATL’s 126 Wh/kg in the case of batteries supplied to Tesla.

Not only that. BYD’s solution is very affordable, estimated at €55 ($64) per kWh. That would explain why BYD is now so competitive and is ramping up production and sales so quickly. PushEVs listed in August a few numbers:

Cost of LFP (LiFePO4) battery packs

  • Average with modules: 650 yuan (85 euros) per kWh
  • CATL with CTP: 570 yuan (75 euros) per kWh
  • BYD with CTP: 420 yuan (55 euros) per kWh

A 60 kWh battery at less than $4,000 does not sound bad. But let’s wait for confirmation whether Tesla is really working with BYD.

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