BYD, one of the largest manufacturers of electric cars in the world, presented just a few weeks ago its revolutionary Blade batteries. They take the chemistry of lithium-ferrophosphate (LiFePO4) to a new level in aspects such as cost, safety, and durability. With this technology, the Chinese brand aims to reinforce its already strong global electrification strategy.
The cells of the Blade batteries will be very elongated (from 0.6 to 2.5 meters long) and will be inserted in a pack that will dispense with the modules. By eliminating the casings, the cost will be reduced by 30% compared to others lithium-ferrophosphate cells, making it cheaper than other types. Blade batteries will be priced at about $85 per kWh, allowing BYD to match the costs of its electric cars to those of thermal vehicles.
Thanks to this optimized geometry, the space of the pack will be better used, increasing the volumetric density by 30%. This will allow Blade batteries to reach an energy density of 140 Wh/kg, a figure similar to that of the NCM type batteries used by other manufacturers. Therefore, BYD will manage to solve one of the main problems of lithium-ferrophosphate: its inferior capacity to other chemical ones.
One of the strengths of this type of battery is its long useful life. The company estimates that its packs will be able to reach 1.2 million kilometers traveled in 8 years of use. BYD also emphasizes the safety of this type of chemistry. During the drilling tests, the cells did not emit smoke or fire, and their surface reached temperatures of between 30º C and 60º C (compared to 200º C and 400º C for batteries conventional). Also, BYD crushed, folded, heated in an oven at 300º C, and overloaded 260% of the cells without catching fire or exploding.
The Han EV will release the Blade batteries, an executive sedan with an obvious objective: to compete against the Tesla Model 3 for price and against the Tesla Model S for size. However, after the Han EV BYD plans to expand its use to more models in the short term.
The second vehicle to incorporate Blade batteries will be the Song Plus EV. A 4.71-meter-long SUV that will initially go on sale this year. The Song Plus (which owes its name to its length 6 centimeters longer than the current Song Pro) will be available in gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and 100% electric versions. However, if it arrives in Europe, it is most likely that only the last one will be offered.