A Chinese news outlet, citing several anonymous sources, has published a rumor that BYD will begin supplying its batteries to Tesla in 2022. Since the Californian manufacturer may be preparing to produce a new electric car model in China, this rumor may be true.
On August 5, the CLS.cn reporter learned from a number of people familiar with the matter that BYD is going to supply Tesla with "blade" batteries in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, sources said that Tesla models that will be equipped with these batteries have already entered the C-sample testing phase. BYD declined to comment on the matter in its response to a request from a journalist of the publication.
RUMOR OF THE DAY: multiple sources reportedly claim BYD will provide Tesla CN with LFP “blade” battery starting in Q2 2022. Tesla vehicles with blade🔋 are already in C-sample testing phase. pic.twitter.com/BvHhNuv0Gi— Ray4Tesla⚡️🚘☀️🔋 (@ray4tesla) August 5, 2021
These rumors are highly controversial. On the one hand, BYD has a separate battery business called Fudi, so it could indeed sell batteries to other EV makers. On the other hand, BYD is still a company that also makes cars, with Tesla being its main competitor. This also raises the question of whether Tesla will buy LFP cells from a direct competitor if it already buys them from CATL, the largest cell manufacturer in the world?
While there are many doubts about the credibility of these rumors, there is something that could lend credence to them. We know that Tesla intends to produce a new, affordable electric vehicle model in China. According to the latest rumors, there is already a prototype of the new model and its test production may begin as early as 2021. Since this model will be significantly cheaper than others, the demand for it will also be very high. Thus, Tesla will need a large number of battery cells, and existing suppliers may not be able to meet these needs. Thus, it is quite possible, if not necessary, that Tesla entered into a partnership with BYD to further its own goals.
BYD created Fudi precisely to make it a separate business, capable of selling batteries to other automakers. If Tesla is willing to buy LFP cells from BYD, BYD will likely manufacture and sell them to Tesla.
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