BYD denied unofficial media reports that its battery supply partnership with Tesla will come to an end, while Tesla called the relations with BYD “positive.”
Many of us know that Tesla and BYD are the two largest electric vehicle manufacturers – competing with each other to some degree, but they also have some joint projects as well.
Details of the partnership between Tesla and BYD remain unknown, but there were many reports in 2021-2022 about BYD’s Blade Batteries (LFP chemistry in a special cell-to-pack approach, with very long cells) in Tesla EVs.
We heard a rumor about a potential deal in August 2021 (denied a few days later), a rumor about a 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh) deal in October 2021, and input from a BYD representative that supply will begin very soon in June 2022. Then, there was another report that BYD’s batteries will be used in the Tesla Model Y produced in Germany, as well as the EU approval for the BYD-powered Tesla Model Y.
The Korean Economic Daily‘s reported recently that Tesla will end its battery supply partnership with BYD, but according to BYD’s representative (via Reuters and CnEVPost), this rumor is false.
“The Korean Economic Daily on Sunday cited industry sources as saying Tesla had not ask BYD for an additional supply of batteries for certain Tesla Model 3 vehicles after their supply deal expired earlier this year.
The report “is not in line with the actual situation”, BYD said in a statement to Reuters.”
It’s interesting that the Tesla Model 3 was mentioned (the entry-level version), rather than the Tesla Model Y.
Also, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk responded to the report that it’s false and that its relations with BYD are positive:
“That media report is false. Relations between Tesla and BYD are positive.”
That’s a very interesting story because it indicates that Tesla is using BYD batteries (from BYD’s FinDreams Battery subsidiary) in some of its products. This means that the list of Tesla’s battery partners is quite long and includes Panasonic, LG Energy Solution, CATL, and BYD (plus in-house 4680-type cylindrical battery cell production).
Unfortunately, we don’t know how many gigawatt-hours (GWh) of batteries come from BYD – it might be just a small, supplemental deal – and for what purpose (some EV models, energy storage, or development of the next-generation model).