Chinese automaker BYD Co. Ltd., backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., are aiming to triple production of their batteries. Their motive is to take on Tesla Motors in the supply of electric vehicles and boost energy storage.
Video on Tesla Gigafactory Update
BYD is based in Shenzhen and plans to add 6 gigawatt hours (GWh) of global production for batteries each year for the next three years. Their hopes are to maintain that pace after the three years if the demand is there, Matthew Jurjevich, a spokesman for the company said.
At that pace, they could go from 10 GWh capacity at the end of this year to around 34 GWh capacity by 2020.
That would put them on par with Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory.
Storage technology is critical to renewable energy because it absorbs excess power from wind farms or solar panels for use when conditions don’t allow for power generation. These two companies are becoming key players in the electricity storage sector.
In the U.S., BYD America has joined forces with RES Americas to create the largest energy storage projects in America, producing 40 MW of energy storage systems using BYD’s lithium-iron phosphate batteries.
“We have demonstrated that BYD is capable of adding 6 GWh every year with strong market demand,” Jurjevich, who works for BYD’s U.S. unit, said, as reported by Business Insider.
“Most of BYD’s production is in China, but the company is opening a major new factory in Brazil this year that will contribute meaningfully to output next year”, Jurjevich said.
“BYD, which started out making mobile phone batteries, will also scale up manufacturing in the United States as demand for its batteries increases,” he added.
Video on the 2015 BYD Tang Ultimate Edition
Data published last year by Lux Research said BYD is the sixth-biggest manufacturer of batteries for hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Panasonic Corporation, which makes cells and batteries for Tesla, is the largest.
Video of the 2014 BYD Qin Hybrid Official Launch
BYD opened two manufacturing plants in Southern California in 2013, and produced both electric buses and batteries. Then in 2003, it launched its automotive business, shocking many. It has since become one of China’s most successful automakers.
With the competition BYD has created, it could only be good for consumers.