BYD becomes Benchmark’s 7th Tier One EV Battery Manufacturer; 2nd China cell maker

Chinese lithium ion battery cell and automaker BYD has reached Benchmark’s top tier EV battery cell manufacturer status joining CATL, Envision AESC, LG Energy Solution, Panasonic, Samsung, and SK Innovation as a tier one cell manufacturer.

BYD is only the second Chinese lithium ion cell producer to reach the top tier after CATL, marking the first battery producer to be promoted since March 2020.

The company’s promotion to the top tier comes as it officially begins to distribute its cells to other OEMs through its commercial battery arm Fudi Battery (Fudi).

Prior to Fudi’s formation in 2020 BYD reserved its in-house EV cell production exclusively for use in its own vehicles.

Benchmark understands that Fudi cells have been qualified by several automakers, which in combination with BYD’s existing global EV and eBus manufacturer status meets Benchmark’s requirements to promote the company to Tier One status.

Benchmark understands that BYD will offer nickel based and LFP chemistries to its customer base through Fudi while continuing to focus on LFP cathode chemistries for its own electric vehicles.

To support its own requirements and that of its new and growing customer base BYD is ramping capacity. Its most recent development was announced in April 2021, when the company announced that it had started phase 2 expansion of its cell plant in the Bishan district of Chongqing, Sichuan, which is set to reach 35 GWh – a significant increase on its initial 20 GWh plan.

Data from Benchmark’s latest Lithium ion Battery Megafactory Assessment shows that BYD will have 170 GWh of capacity in the pipeline 2025, all of which will be concentrated within China.

Ranking the world’s leading producers of battery cells for electric vehicles 

Not all lithium ion batteries can be used in all electric vehicles. For industry, there is a fine balance of what Benchmark calls the ‘Three Qs’ of quality, quantity and qualification.

Every three months, Benchmark assesses each lithium ion battery cell producer into the following three tiers:

Tier 1:

  • Qualified to supply multinational automotive OEMs / EV producers outside of China
  • Supplier to domestic Chinese EV market
  • >5 GWh of annual cumulative capacity (equivalent at time of assessment)

Tier 2:

  • Not yet qualified to supply multinational automotive OEMs / EV producers outside of China
  • Qualified to supply domestic Chinese EV manufacturers
  • Qualified to supply non EV applications
  • >1GWh of annual cumulative capacity (equivalent at time of assessment)

Tier 3:

  • Not yet qualified to supply EV end markets
  • >1GWh of annual cumulative capacity (equivalent at time of assessment)
  • Primary focus: non EV markets including portable and stationary

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