Chinese automaker BYD aims to be a major player in the battery business, adding 6 gigawatt-hours of global production in each of the next three years, company spokesman Matthew Jurjevich told Reuters recently.
If it continues at that pace, BYD’s capacity will be some 34 GWh of batteries by the beginning of 2020, putting it about even with Tesla’s Gigafactory.
“We have demonstrated that BYD is capable of adding 6 GWh every year with strong market demand,” said Jurjevich, adding that BYD will scale up manufacturing in the US as demand for its batteries increases.
According to Lux Research, BYD is currently the sixth-biggest global manufacturer of batteries for hybrid and plug-in vehicles. It’s also a factor in the stationary storage market, which is expected to grow to $1.5 billion by 2019 in the US alone, according to GTM Research. BYD plans to deploy 70 megawatt-hours of storage projects in the US this year, and has another 130 MWh on the table. Existing customers include Chevron and Duke Energy.
Most of BYD’s current production is in China, but it built two manufacturing plants in Southern California in 2013 to produce electric buses and batteries, and it plans to open a major new factory in Brazil this year.