BYD Claims Destruction-Safe EV Battery

A Chinese battery manufacturer and automaker claims its latest automotive grade product won’t ignite even when a nail is driven through it.

BYD said it created the Blade Battery in answer to concerns about lithium-ion battery safety in electric vehicles. Several years of development went into the new battery which features construction where singular cells are arranged together in an array and then inserted into a battery pack. As a by-product of this, its use of space is increased by over 50% compared to conventional lithium-ion phosphate block batteries.

He Long, vice-president of BYD and chairman of FinDreams Battery Company, criticized many battery makers’ fixation on energy density to boost performance and range instead of addressing the crucial issue of vehicle safety.

While undergoing nail penetration tests, the Blade Battery is claimed to have emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated and its surface temperature only reached 30 to 60°C. Under the same conditions, a ternary lithium battery exceeded 500°C and burned violently. While a conventional lithium-ion phosphate block battery did not openly emit flames or smoke, its surface temperature reached dangerous temperatures of 200 to 400°C.

The manufacturer says this shows the new battery would be safer in a vehicle collision. It also claims the Blade Battery passed other extreme test conditions, such as being crushed, bent, being heated in a furnace to 300°C and overcharged by 260%. None of these resulted in a fire or explosion.

Long said: “Today, many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology of the Blade Battery.” He added that BYD will gladly share and work with global partners to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for all industry players.

BYD’s flagship sedan model, the Han EV, is due for launch this June equipped with the Blade Battery. The new model will lead the brand’s Dynasty Family, claiming a cruising range of 375 miles and an acceleration of 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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