Tesla is a company that is always on the lookout for cutting-edge technology. By increasing the top speed of its cars for range, payload, and most recently, even upgrading their batteries to the new 4680 batteries, last year there was a rumor that Tesla decided to try some other batteries as well.
In the form of batteries for electric vehicles, this time Chinese technology has once again bested American technology. So, what exactly is a Blade Battery? How is it better than your standard lithium-ion battery? Stay tuned till the end as we tell you all the answers.
These blade batteries are made by a Chinese company called BYD. This year, the price of lithium carbonate, a key component of electric vehicle batteries, has doubled. Nickel, a key component of most electric vehicle batteries, was at a five-month high in 2021.
According to BloombergNEF, a clean energy research group, demand for EV metals will increase tenfold by the end of the decade, leading to more pressure.This brings us to the Blade, a little-known, ground-breaking battery made from abundant and relatively inexpensive iron and phosphate that cost about 28 percent less than a lithium-ion battery last year.
The Blade Battery, which was developed by BYD, a Chinese company backed by Warren Buffett, packs volatile battery metals into a thin, tall container, using significantly less fireproof material than a standard lithium-ion battery.
The Blade Battery has a higher driving range per charge than more expensive batteries, and lasts for hundreds of thousands of miles, many times longer than competitors.
What makes this battery so unique is that BYD claims each battery can last up to 1.2 million kilometers, so once you’ve installed the Blade Battery, you don’t have to worry about it going bad.
Upon performing the specific heat and pressure test, where the heat was cranked up to more than 200% of what the battery should have suffered, the battery was damaged, but there were absolutely no signs of fire. Rumors of Tesla using BYD Blade batteries with LFP cells starting in the second quarter of 2022 have been given new life.
Contrary to early summer accusations that claimed Tesla was already in the “C-sample testing phase” with BYD batteries.
The latest rumors aren’t about the cells being installed in Tesla’s upcoming new entry-level model, called the “Model 2,” which costs just $25,000. The stated order of Blade batteries is for the Model 3 and Model Y standard range variants made in China.
When asked about the information, BYD declined to comment. It’s also pertinent that Tesla revealed in its most recent financial results that it will switch all of its standard-class models to lithium-phosphate batteries globally.
Until now, Tesla’s standard range models made in Shanghai relied on CATL’s lithium phosphate or LFP cells. The standard-class Model 3 manufactured in the United States continues to use round cells, as do all-wheel-drive models that require larger batteries.
A 55 kWh LFP battery is now available for the Model 3. The Model Y, which is currently only available in China, has a battery capacity of 60 kWh. Such a version could be imported into the European Union, although this has not yet happened. With 10 GWh, over 160,000 battery packs with 60 kWh can be manufactured.
However, because BYD’s Blade batteries have a unique cell form factor—the cells are relatively long and narrow. A pack with Blade batteries may have a different energy content than a pack with CATL cells.
According to sources, the Tesla battery with CATL cells has an energy density of 126 Wh/kg, while the Blade battery weighs 150 Wh/kg. The Blade’s “cell to pack” architecture provides a low-cost solution to the projected years’ shortage of battery metals as EV demand grows.
Blade also promised to lower EV pricing for the general public. Despite this, it has received little attention in the West. It’s about to change. Expect the Blade concept to become a major technology for electric vehicles all over the world.