Mercedes has reportedly made a very strong decision for its future affordable electric cars: the integration of BYD batteries. It is the largest Chinese manufacturer of electric cars, number 2 in the world behind Tesla. We explain to you why this is important.
The electric car industry is an ultra-competitive field. Each manufacturer tries to stand out from the others, in the hope of seeing its market share increase. But, when it comes to batteries, it is difficult to really stand out, since you have to trust the different players in this industry. Like the leader CATL (with the famous 1,000 km battery life which recharges in 10 minutes), but also BYD, number 2 in terms of volume of batteries sold.
An alliance between Mercedes and BYD to lower prices
And in fact, BYD is also number 2 in electric cars globally, just behind Tesla. Because BYD produces batteries… but also electric and rechargeable hybrid cars. BYD supplies its batteries to its competitors, such as the Tesla Model Y produced in Germany. And it seems that Mercedes is very interested in this idea too. To reduce costs!
At the Munich Auto Show, Mercedes unveiled the CLA concept, an electric car that will replace the current gasoline and diesel CLA. It will be based on the new MMA platform intended to replace Mercedes’ current affordable electric cars, namely the EQA, EQB and EQC. And to make them more affordable, this will notably involve batteries.
750 km of autonomy… but not for BYDs?
If the highest-end versions which promise 750 km of autonomy should integrate expensive NMC (or NCA) batteries, the versions with a slightly lower autonomy should use LFP batteries. Their advantage? The absence of cobalt and above all, a lower price. But the constraint is a lower energy density, preventing us from achieving, for the moment, very long autonomy.
Mercedes Concept CLA
Everything is not yet certain, but it is the very serious Chinese media CBEA which announces the news. It is the media of an organization (CABRI) financed by the government, and whose members include SAIC (MG), GAC, Dongfeng, Changan and CATL. We are therefore far from a simple rumor.
Mercedes goes financier are main concurrent
By purchasing lithium batteries from BYD, Mercedes is providing additional resources to this competitor. It should be remembered that BYD is extremely advanced in the field of electric cars, since it is close behind Tesla, but well ahead of Volkswagen. All this thanks to vertical integration taken to the extreme, and a shift towards electric technology taken many years ago.
Which therefore amounts to saying that Mercedes, just like Tesla, will finance its main competitor in the electric car segment.
Do you use Google News (News in France)? You can follow your favorite media. Follow Aroged on Google News (and Numerama).