Audi will begin using LFP (lithium ferrophosphate) batteries of BYD origin in some of its electric vehicles manufactured in China. The first to use them will be the imminent Q6L e-tron, an extended wheelbase version of the European Q6 e-tron made at the Audi-FAW plant in Changchun, Jilin, in the northeast of the Asian country.
This model will sit on the PPE modular platform with an 800-volt system. The higher versions will mount ternary batteries produced by CATL. It is interesting to remember that CATL and BYD are currently the two largest battery manufacturers on the planet. However, BYD is the undisputed leader in the production of LFP cells.
The well-known BYD Blade batteries, which are also used by other brands such as Tesla or Toyota, solve the main problem of LFP chemistry (its low energy density) thanks to the use of thin, elongated cells arranged in a matrix, which allows maximizing the use of space in the pack.
The Chinese firm estimates that the useful life of its Blade batteries is 5,000 cycles, more than 1.2 million kilometers. In addition, its high safety rates also stand out. However, the main advantage of LFP chemistry over NCM is its lower cost since it dispenses with expensive materials such as cobalt.
BYD continues to increase its weight on the international scene
The Chinese industry’s firm commitment to LFP batteries has allowed its manufacturers (and more specifically BYD) to emerge as leaders in electrification, to the point that the company is the second largest producer of electric cars in the world behind Tesla, which it could surpass before the end of the year.
Despite its efforts to become a supplier of batteries for third parties, the truth is that its models continue to account for approximately 95% of its business volume. BYD also develops the rest of the propulsion systems of its vehicles: engines, control electronics, etc.
The Volkswagen Group holds a 60% stake in the joint venture between Audi and FAW, while the latter controls the remaining 40%. Both companies aim to assemble approximately 150,000 premium electric cars annually in their new factory, which will also produce the Q6L Sportback e-tron and the A6L e-tron.