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Chinese automaker to release innovative, next-generation EV battery this year — here's how it could revolutionize EV market

"In terms of battery safety and energy density, BYD's Blade Battery has obvious advantages."

"In terms of battery safety and energy density, BYD's Blade Battery has obvious advantages."

Photo Credit: BYD

BYD has an electric vehicle battery — now in its second generation — that Evel Knievel would likely have been proud to use. 

That's because vigorous testing of its Blade Battery resulted in it being crushed, bent, heated to more than 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and punctured with a nail. The late daredevil, who holds a Guinness World Record for broken bones at 433, could have easily put Blade through its paces during one of his wild stunts. 

According to a report from Car News China, an online car news website, the next generation of Blade technology is set to be released later this year. It comes with upgraded energy density metrics that could deliver a 621-mile range.

The innovation could have great impact if it can eliminate battery fire risks that are rare yet disastrous when common lithium-ion chemistry malfunctions. The deliverables will be even more impressive if the exceptional travel length reports come to fruition. 

Blade was first introduced in 2020 using a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) design. It's a battery type that Forbes described last year as safe and durable, while compromising some on energy density. That's the amount of electricity that can be stored in relation to the power pack's size. 

Blade's makers address this with better use of space, a 50% improvement over other LFPs. 

"In terms of battery safety and energy density, BYD's Blade Battery has obvious advantages," Ouyang Minggao, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at Tsinghua University, said in a BYD press release, referencing the original tech. The new version is billed as being lighter and smaller. 

Part of BYD's invasive battery scrutiny involves driving a nail into the cell to simulate a short circuit. The team also overcharged Blade by 260%. It made the cut, passing the tests without combusting. 

BYD Vice President He Long, who also chairs the company's battery subsidiary, FinDreams, said that Blade refocused innovation on safety rather than energy density. It's a metric he said the industry has unreasonably become focused upon. 

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That said, the battery doesn't fall short on range. While the 600-mile-plus mark has yet to be proved with the latest version, the BYD Han has a reported range of 300-plus miles using a Blade

BYD and rival Tesla continue to spar for position as the world's top EV seller. The competition is good for consumers, as it's driving innovations that improve performance and safety, as well as lower prices. 

By switching to an EV, you can save an estimated $1,500 a year on gas and maintenance, as well as prevent 10,000 pounds of dirty exhaust from fouling our air annually. Fresher air can help to improve lung health and reduce asthma attacks

For now, competition in the EV and battery market isn't going unnoticed by customers. 

"I really wish BYD [would] make a push to the U.S. even with the current political challenges. I'm [seeing] the BYD in Asia and Europe. Absolutely love it," a reader commented on a story about the tech from Electrek. 

The online news site reported in February that BYD wasn't planning on selling passenger cars in the U.S. anytime soon, according to financial newspaper Nikkei. 

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