Chinese carmaker BYD is preparing to start supplying Tesla with its batteries.
The world’s largest manufacturer of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles has already supplied its batteries to other automakers, including Toyota. It is also responsible for developing innovative blade batteries using lithium-iron-phosphate and is said to be a safer alternative to more traditional battery designs.
Speaking to Chinese state-owned CGTN recently, BYD executive vice president Lian Yubo said Tesla would soon become one of its clients. “We are now good friends with Elon Musk because we are preparing to supply batteries to Tesla soon,” Ubo noted.
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The Tesla battery giant derives its current lithium-iron-phosphate source from CATL and uses these batteries in vehicles manufactured at its Shanghai Gigafactory. CATL has become such an important supplier to Tesla that almost half of the vehicles Tesla built in the first quarter were equipped with lithium-iron-phosphate batteries.
Reuters Note that these serve as a cheaper alternative to the nickel-cobalt battery cells commonly used throughout the West. Sources of some of its nickel-cobalt cells from Tesla Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions.
Details of a battery supply deal between BYD and Tesla are not yet known, and the two carmakers have not been given specific information about the deal. A timeline for the deal has not yet been announced and it is uncertain whether BYD will supply Tesla with its new blade-style battery cell or any other cell format.