BYD recently gave the media and industry experts a glimpse into its Blade Battery manufacturing plant in Chongqing, China. In total, over a hundred guests participated in the first tour. We wish we could see a video, but there are only a few new images and a press release.
According to the company, the total investment into the plant was 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) and the annual production capacity is 20 GWh (at least at some point in the future after the ramp-up we guess).
The Chinese manufacturer seems to be pretty proud not only about the batteries, but also its self-developed production equipment.
"The nature of the factory’s environment can be seen in the core production process. For example, requirements necessitate that within one cubic meter space, fine particles equivalent to 1/20th of a single hair (or a 5-micron particle, as a hair is 100 microns), cannot exceed 29, reaching the same standards as LCD screen production. The overall allowed humidity is limited to below 1% (the average daily humidity being 60-80%), and the humidity during a core production process cannot exceed 0.05% of the average moisture level. In addition, the temperature is kept constant at 25° Celsius.
According to Sun Huajun, the Vice General Manager of FinDreams Battery, these demanding conditions are a “necessary foundation” to the Blade Battery’s high safety standards."
"The nearly one-meter-long pole piece can achieve tolerances of within ±0.3mm, and the accuracy and speed of a single-piece lamination have an efficiency of 0.3s/pcs. This is the first of its kind in the world. This form of lamination comes from BYD’s completely independent development of its equipment and cutting-edge solutions.
In addition to laminations, the mixing of ingredients as well as the coating, pressing, testing, and other processes in the production of Blade Batteries have reached world-class standards. Every production workshop, process, line, as well as the flow of information and intelligent control level follow exceptionally high standards. The Blade Battery holds notable advantages in its high safety, long range, and enduring longevity."
One of the most important advantages of the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry is its longevity. According to BYD, the Blade Battery will withstand 3,000 charging/discharging cycles or 1.2 million km (nearly 750,000 miles). We assume it will then have capacity of around 80% (there are no details).
LFP allows also for fast charging (10-80% SoC in 33 minutes), is safe and affordable compared to higher energy dense chemistries like NCM. Because the cell-to-pack (CTP) approach reduces complexity, cost and increases space utilization (volumetric energy denisty), BYD hopes that the LFP-CTP can actually compete with NCM.
"In addition to solving the issue of endurance, the Blade Battery can be charged from 10% to 80% of its full capacity within 33 minutes, supporting the BYD Han EV’s acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Furthermore, its accumulated mileage can reach 1.2 million km after 3,000 cycles of charging and discharging. In short, the Blade Battery outpaces ternary lithium batteries and traditional lithium iron phosphate batteries among the metrics of longevity, power, and strength."
BYD Blade Battery info (see unveiling here):
- lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry
- "The Blade Battery refers to a single-cell battery with a length of 96 cm, a width of 9 cm and a height of 1.35 cm, which can be placed in an array and inserted into a battery pack like a blade"
- cell-to-pack (CTP) system: skips the module stage through using thinner and longer cells (designed to become structural parts - beams - of the pack)
- about 50% greater volumetric energy density compared to conventional LFP battery pack
the batteries take 60% of pack volume instead 40% in conventional system
- high longevity of 3,000 charging/discharging cycles or 1.2 million km (nearly 750,000 miles) of mileage
- high safety - BYD showed the results of a nail penetration test - of NCM, LFP and Blade Battery cells, in which the Blade Battery "emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated, and its surface temperature only reached 30 to 60°C"
- reduced cost compared to conventional LFP battery pack
- can provide range comparable to ternary lithium batteries (NCM)
BYD Han is rated at up to 605 km (376 miles) NEDC
- can be charged from 10% to 80% of its full capacity within 33 minutes
The first model that will use the Blade Battery is BYD Han and it's a very attractive car: