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March 30, 2020updated 04 Jul 2022 4:46pm

BYD announces ‘safer’ blade battery

BYD has officially announced - online - the launch of the Blade Battery, a development set to mitigate concerns about battery safety in electric vehicles.

BYD has officially announced – online – the launch of the Blade Battery, a development set to mitigate concerns about battery safety in electric vehicles.     

Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president, said the battery reflects BYD’s determination to resolve issues in battery safety while also redefining safety standards for the entire industry.

It highlighted a video of the battery successfully passing a nail penetration test which is seen as the most rigorous way to test the thermal runaway of batteries due to its sheer difficulty.

The battery has been developed by BYD over the past several years. The singular cells are arranged together in an array and then inserted into a pack. Due to its optimised pack structure, the space utilisation of the pack is increased by over 50% compared to conventional lithium iron phosphate block batteries.

While undergoing nail penetration tests, the battery emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated, and its surface temperature only reached 30C to 60°C.

Under the same conditions, a ternary lithium battery exceeded 500°C and violently burned and, while a conventional lithium iron phosphate block battery did not openly emit flames or smoke, its surface temperature reached dangerous temperatures of 200C to 400°C. This implies that EVs equipped with the blade battery would be far less susceptible to catching fire even when they are severely damaged.

The battery also 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.

Four claimed distinct advantages of the battery include a high starting temperature for exothermic reactions, slow heat release and low heat generation, as well as its ability to not release oxygen during breakdowns or easily catch fire.

In the past few years, many EV manufacturers have fallen into a competition for ever-greater cruising range. When the range becomes the prime factor to consider, this focus is then transferred to power battery makers, leading to unreasonable pursuits of energy density in the battery industry. It is due to this unpractical focus on energy density that safety has been sidelined from power battery development, BYD said.

Its blade battery aims to bring battery safety back to the forefront, a redirection from the industry’s tenuous focus on this crucial aspect.

“Today, many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology,” BYD said.

The Han EV, BYD’s flagship sedan model slated for launch this June, will have the blade battery. The new model will lead the brand’s Dynasty Family, boasting a cruising range of 605km and acceleration of 0 to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds.

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