BYD to Expand Shanghai Battery Factory, Rivaling Local Tesla Gigafactory

According to an official Shanghai government website on October 9, Chinese new energy vehicle and battery giant BYD plans to invest 5 million yuan ($695,778) in an expansion project involving Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. The eastern Chinese metropolis also hosts one of Tesla’s Gigafactories in its Lingang New Area, Pudong District.

According to a project description published on its website, Shanghai BYD Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of BYD, and its existing factory is located in Songjiang District, mainly engaged in the manufacturing of electronic components such as lithium batteries and solar cell modules, as well as the processing of non-ferrous metal composite materials and new alloy materials.

With this expansion project, an A5 workshop will add double folding and code spraying processes to new types of lithium battery products. After the completion of the project, it is estimated that 72 million new types of lithium batteries can be processed per year, and the output of new lithium battery products will remain unchanged. The A5 workshop to be expanded this time mainly produces new types of lithium batteries.

In terms of its recent business performance, BYD sold more than 200,000 new energy vehicles in September, becoming the world’s first electric vehicle company with annual sales exceeding one million vehicles before Tesla. On the evening of October 3, it released production and sales data for September, selling 201,259 new cars in this month, up 151.2% year-on-year, including 200,973 passenger cars (including 7,736 exported cars), up 154.3% year-on-year.

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Some BYD insiders said, “The main bottleneck now is production capacity. The company still has hundreds of thousands of orders in hand.” Regarding its September performance, they said that “there are early expectations… The key now is to increase ‘development quality’ as much as possible while expanding production capacity and ensuring delivery as soon as possible.”

Just the day before BYD disclosed its September sales, Tesla announced its delivery in the third quarter of this year. During the period, the firm sold 343,830 vehicles worldwide, up 3% year-on-year. In the same period, the cumulative sales volume of BYD’s new energy passenger cars was 537,164, up 187.01% year-on-year. This means that in the third quarter, BYD continued to lead the global new energy vehicle market with overwhelming advantages.