Chinese automaker BYD, best known not for its electric vehicles but for the Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc backing, now mulls to add production more production capacity for its batteries.
In a bid to triple the output of car batteries, the Chinese carmaker is aiming to better compete with America’s Tesla Motors, the US automaker that has embarked on the construction of the largest battery factory in the world – in a bid to gain increased supply capacity for electric cars and also enter the race of providing energy storage solutions. Shenzhen-based BYD now aims to increase its world production of batteries by 6 gigawatt hours in each during the following three years and, according to a spokesperson for the company, would also keep up the pace after that period if demand would rise accordingly. BYD currently has an installed battery capacity production of 10 GWh as of the end of the current year and if the production increase goes as planned it would end up producing around 34 GWh of batteries by the start of the next decade. The figure would be more or less in line with the plans currently disclosed by Tesla for its planned $5 billion Nevada gigafactory.
The company, also funded by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, started as a producer of mobile phone batteries and surprised everyone back in 2003 when it announced an automotive division – in the time rising to be one of the country’s most successful carmakers. Outside of the home market, however, the company focused on providing commercial vehicles – especially busses. Today, according to figures for last year compiled and published by Lux Research, BYD is the sixth-largest producer of batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Tesla has announced its plans to make a battery plant in Nevada, already under construction, with an installed annual capacity of 35 GWh by 2020.