The new battery may reach production cars next year.
Just a couple of days ago, we heard rumors that Tesla's $25,000 car was still on track and had reached the prototype phase. That car is set to be produced in China, so the latest news that Tesla may be working with automaker BYD is not much of a surprise, despite the fact that BYD is technically one of Tesla's rivals. It's unclear exactly how the two companies came to an agreement, but according to multiple sources, those familiar with BYD's supply chain and plans for its ultra-safe "Blade" battery say that the battery could be used in some of Tesla's vehicles from next year.
These reports say that we could see Tesla equipped with the blade battery arrive as soon as the second quarter of next year, and it seems that Blade-equipped vehicles will include the new budget Tesla that will slot in below the Model 3. BYD's Blade battery was created to mitigate concerns about EV battery safety and therefore has a unique pack design, with singular cells arranged in an array and then inserted into the battery pack.
This eliminates unnecessary use of space, and the space within the pack is therefore increased by over 50% compared to regular block batteries. It has been in development for several years and was unveiled in March of last year.
Its safety was proven after extensive tests including nail penetration tests by not emitting any smoke or fire after the battery pack's main housing was punctured. Furthermore, surface temperatures only reached between 86 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while traditional battery pack designs for LFP (lithium iron phosphate) block batteries also did not catch fire but reached temperatures between 392 and 752 degrees. Ternary lithium batteries got as hot as 932 degrees. With these excellent attributes and a relatively low cost, the BYD Blade battery seems ideal for a sub-$25k Tesla. Let's hope that development of the car remains on track so we can test it out sometime before the second half of 2022.