Yesterday, the Korea Economic Daily reported, citing unnamed people, that Tesla will no longer use BYD batteries to manufacture its affordable models. According to the information, the contract for the supply of batteries expired at the beginning of this year and the company did not request repeated deliveries. It was reported that they could have been used to produce the Model 3 Standard. It was also reported that BYD batteries were unreliable and were the cause of fires in China.
However, within hours of the wider spread of information, both sides responded to the report. A BYD spokesman, responding to a CnEVPost request for comment, said the information in the Korea Economic Daily article is untrue and does not correspond to the real situation. However, it remains unclear whether this comment was about all of the information or just some part of it.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also later tweeted that the media report is false and that Tesla's relationship with BYD is positive. It remains unclear what he meant. At the moment, it is only clear that neither company has officially confirmed that they are in a business relationship. Both gave vague answers that continue to further fuel speculation.
That media report is false. Relations between Tesla and BYD are positive.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2023
Information about the supply of BYD batteries to Tesla was initially filled with many rumors and speculations. In August 2021, it became known that a CLS.cn reporter had learned from a number of people familiar with the matter that BYD is going to supply Tesla with “blade” batteries in Q2 2022. In addition, sources said that Tesla car models that will be equipped with these batteries have already entered the C-sample testing phase. Days later, BYD denied rumors that it was supplying “blade” batteries to Tesla, claiming the company never told the media it would do so.
During the Q3 2021 Earnings Call, Tesla announced that it will use iron-based batteries for its standard Model 3 and Model Y models in all markets worldwide. This confirmed the earlier statements of Musk, and finally outlined the direction of the company in this regard. In connection with Tesla's announcement, information appeared in October 2021 that the company will buy LFP batteries from BYD. The source of Chinese media, CLS.cn, said that an American manufacturer had signed a deal to supply 10 GWh of LFP batteries. “The information I received is that BYD has already received a Tesla order for 10 GWh,” said an aforementioned industry source close to BYD.
In June 2022, according to Bloomberg, a BYD executive told the Chinese state media that the company is ready to begin shipping Tesla batteries. “We are good friends with Elon Musk and we are preparing to supply batteries to Tesla,” BYD’s executive vice president Lian Yu-bo said in a short video clip with state television broadcaster, CGTN. However, since then, no other information about the cooperation between the two companies has been reported.
© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.