Tesla will receive LFP batteries from BYD at a German factory

The first batch of Tesla Model Y, equipped with Blade batteries from BYD, should roll off the assembly line in Grünheide no earlier than a month later


An editor at eMobilCar

  • 3 min read

Tesla has no plans to use BYD batteries at its Chinese factory in Shanghai just yet. Cells from CATL and LG Energy Solution will continue to be installed there. In particular, about 70 percent of the battery cells installed at Giga Shanghai are from CATL and 30 percent from LGES.

It has already become apparent that BYD will supply LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries for Tesla - rumors have been circulating as far back as 2021, and in June of this year, a senior BYD manager confirmed the main information. However, at the time, BYD was supposed to supply Giga Shanghai.

As you know, Tesla has only built the Model Y in Grünheide so far, which means that the electric SUV will most likely be equipped with blade batteries from BYD. The report does not mention if this is a direct replacement for the previous 2170 round cell battery packs or if it is LFP batteries for the new drive variant. But the latter is more likely.

So far, the industry has speculated that Tesla will introduce 4,680 cells with a structural battery pack as a second battery option, in addition to the 2,170 cells for the Model Y Performance and some long-range models already built. What would be new would be that a version of the battery would be introduced without round cells, and then immediately with LFP chemistry.

BYD blade batteries are special form factor LFP cells that are very long and narrow. Like lithium iron phosphate cells, they do not require materials such as nickel and cobalt. With a sword-like form factor and BYD-designed cell chemistry, the blade battery in the battery pack should deliver higher energy density than LFP cells in a more traditional form factor. According to earlier reports, up to 150 Wh/kg will be possible. In addition, BYD has repeatedly emphasized the high safety level of this battery design.

The main advantage of LFP batteries is - in addition to the fact that they do without some critical materials - the price: an estimated 55 euros per kilowatt-hour, or $64 per kWh for a blade battery. The disadvantages of the technology are the lower energy density, as well as the power output and power consumption: the charging power is usually lower than that of batteries with NCM (Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese) cells.

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