There have been many rumors over the past year that BYD (OTCMKTS: BYDDY, HKG: 1211) will supply batteries to Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), but they have not been confirmed until today.
BYD will soon supply batteries to Tesla, said Lian Yubo, the company's executive vice president and president of its automotive engineering research institute, in an interview with Kui Yingchun, host of state-owned media CGTN, according to a video of the interview released today.
Lian was asked this question in the interview:
How would you rate your made-in-China (products) versus Tesla? Many of your models are in direct competition with Tesla, and this business competition is fierce.
I know Elon Musk has previously said that your cars are not good looking. But it doesn't matter, you guys are now number one in the market.
In his reply, Lian said:
Tesla is a very successful company no matter what, BYD respects Tesla and we admire Tesla.
We are good friends with Elon Musk, and we will soon supply him with batteries. We are friends.
It (Tesla) has a high starting point and adopts a high-profile strategy, including in the US capital market.
It first launched the Model S and Model X, shaping itself into a high-end brand, giving young people the feeling that it is the representative of fashion, innovation and technology.
Some of our domestic new car makers are actually also learning from it (Tesla), and it is an example for us to learn from.
In August last year, there were rumors that BYD would supply blade batteries to Tesla in the second quarter of 2022, and the Tesla model equipped with the battery was already in the C sample testing stage at that time.
At the end of October last year, Cailian cited a source close to BYD as saying that the company had received a 10 GWh order for LFP batteries from Tesla.
Earlier this year, there were further rumors on Chinese social media that Tesla had officially placed orders with BYD's battery manufacturing unit FinDreams Battery for blade batteries for 204,000 units per year.
Notably, there has been no confirmation or direct denial of these rumors from BYD or Tesla.
BYD is China's largest new energy vehicle (NEV) maker, selling 114,943 vehicles in May, the third consecutive month of more than 100,000 units.
The company stopped production and sales of conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in March to focus on producing battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
In addition to being a NEV manufacturing giant, BYD is also one of the largest manufacturers of power batteries in China.
BYD installed 4.27 GWh of power batteries in China in April, ranking second with a 32.2 percent market share, according to data released by the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance (CABIA) early last month.
CATL remained in first place with 5.08 GWh installed in April and a 38.3 percent market share.
May's battery installation data is not yet available and they are expected to be released in a few days.