BYD’s new Blade Battery design claims improved safety for electric vehicles: Here’s how

China’s BYD has designed a new kind of battery that it claims is safer than a conventional battery that addresses concerns about modern electric vehicles. The Blade battery will make its debut in the upcoming Han EV sedan in June.

By:Published: March 30, 2020 2:02:39 PM

BYD Company Limited, one of China’s largest privately-owned enterprises has announced the launch of the Blade Battery. The Blade Battery is designed and developed to mitigate concerns about battery safety that is a rising concern about battery electric vehicles. Chairman and President of BYD, Wang Chuanfu in an online launch event mentioned that the company is determined to resolve issues in battery safety and redefine safety standards for the entire industry.

The company says that it has been developing the Blade Battery over the last several years. The design involves arranging the battery cells in an array, rather than inserting them into a battery pack. This also helps make the battery more compact and optimised offering with improved space utilisation by over 50% compared to a conventional lithium iron phosphate block batteries.

During the launch presentation, BYD showed an experiment where they used a nail penetration test to demonstrate the thermal runaway of the Blade Battery, in comparison to ternary lithium battery and a conventional lithium iron phosphate block battery. The experiment starts around the 38-minute mark.

The test demonstrated that while undergoing the nail penetration test along with an egg as a visual indicator of temperature. The ternary lithium battery exceeded 500°C and violently burned then nearly exploded. The conventional lithium iron phosphate block battery underwent through the same test and did not openly emit flames or smoke, however, its surface temperature reached dangerous temperatures of 200 to 400°C, this cooked and charred the egg that way placed on top. The Blade Battery also did not emit smoke nor fire after being penetrated, and the surface temperature reached only 30-60°C and the egg on top remained uncooked. However, the test itself should be taken with a pinch of salt as the penetration of this kind is an unlikely occurrence, however, it is possible for it to take place in extreme conditions.

Professor Ouyang Minggao, Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor at Tsinghua University stated that “In terms of battery safety and energy density, BYD’s Blade Battery has obvious advantages,”

BYD tested the Blade Battery further with other extreme test conditions. Such as being crushed, bent, being heated in a furnace to 300°C and overcharged by 260%. None of the tests have resulted in a fire or explosion according to the release by the manufacturer.

He Long, Vice President of BYD and Chairman of FinDreams Battery Co., Ltd. mention four more advantages of the Blade Battery. They include 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 statement released by the manufacturer, it stated “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’s 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 of the Blade Battery,” said He Long. He added that BYD will gladly share and work with global partners to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for all industry players.

The Blade Battery technology will make its production debut in the upcoming Han EV sedan in China. the Han EV is BYD’s flagship sedan that is slated to be launched in June 2020 and is said to have a range of 605 kilometres with a 0-100kmph acceleration time of just 3.9 seconds.

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