Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD is planning to build a new $1.2 billion factory for its batteries in central China, environmental appraisal filings showed.
FinDreams Technology, the Chinese company’s battery unit, is aiming to build a facility with the capacity to produce 40 gigawatt hours per year of its Blade Battery in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.
The Zhengzhou government published the environmental filings on its website on Friday, seeking public feedback on the project. A company spokesperson could not immediately comment on the matter when contacted.
BYD says its Blade Battery is a less bulky lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery commonly used in EVs. The carmaker’s chairman Wang Chuanfu has said it is safer than other alternatives in the market and will not catch fire.
The EV battery has been powering BYD’s best-selling battery electric cars such as the Han and Seal sedans that compete with Tesla’s Model 3 in China.
BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, is the world’s largest maker of electrified vehicles and the best-selling EV maker in China.
It was the world’s biggest seller of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids in 2022 with a total of 1.86 million sales – the vast majority in China. It was well ahead of top rival Tesla which saw sales of 1.3 million overall.
In January, BYD said it expected its 2022 net profit to be more than five times the amount it booked a year earlier.
The Chinese EV giant is also embarking on a rapid global expansion. It has made inroads into several global markets starting with Norway in 2021, and now including Australia, Britain, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, Mexico and Singapore.
It is also looking to set up a distribution network in the US.
BYD is banking on lower costs than most rivals to eventually overtake the world’s biggest carmaker – Japan’s Toyota – as EVs become the cars of choice.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena