To tackle the issue of fire safety in electric vehicles, BYD, China's biggest maker of electric vehicles, has introduced the Blade battery.
BYD claims the battery is less likely to catch fire or explode, even in extreme conditions.
The new battery has been flattened and lengthened, adding stiffness and taking away the necessity of beams and modules in a battery pack. The entire arrangement is then encased in a honeycomb panel for more stiffness.
The next thing is the lithium iron phosphate chemistry. This composition needs a much higher temperature to catch ignite thereby reducing the risk of runaway thermal fires. A thermal fire can happen is a foreign object penetrates a cell causing the chemical reaction to accelerate and heat up to temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Celsius. This is enough to heat up the adjacent cell causing it catch fire and so on.
The new structure now also allows for 60 percent of the cell composition as against 40 percent in other lithium-based batteries. This means that the Blade battery is also 50 percent more energy dense than its competition. More energy means more range, an ongoing drawback of electric vehicles over convention IC engines.
BYD has put the batteries through a series of tests. They say that the focus of the new technology was to set new standard in battery safety. In the tests conducted by the company, the battery was penetrated, but the surface temperature rose to only 30-60 degrees Celsius without any smoke or fire.
The company also took some other extreme tests such as bending crushing, heating to 300 degrees and even overcharging to 260 percent. In all of the tests conducted, BYD says there hasn’t been any fires or explosions.