China’s BYD is preparing to supply batteries to Tesla “very soon,” a senior business executive told a state media anchor in a video released early on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
“We are now good friends with Elon Musk as we prepare to supply batteries to Tesla soon,” said Lian Yubo, executive vice president of BYD in an interview with Kui Yingchun, an anchor at Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.
BYD and Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicle fleets, including electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, has made an effort to supply batteries to other automakers, including Toyota.
In 2020, BYD officially launched its Blade battery, a less bulky lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery that chairman Wang Chuanfu believed was safer than other alternatives on the market and wouldn’t catch fire.
Chinese battery giant CATL is currently the sole supplier of LFP batteries to Tesla, which has been installing such batteries in cars manufactured at its Shanghai plant since 2020.
Tesla revealed that nearly half of the vehicles it produced in the first quarter were equipped with LFP batteries, a cheaper competitor to the nickel and cobalt-based cells that dominate in the west.
Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions are the main suppliers of nickel and cobalt-based cells to Tesla, Reuters noted.