Chinese car maker BYD has revealed a new battery pack for electric vehicles that's designed to "redefine safety standards for the entire industry".
The Blade Battery, developed by BYD over several years, is said to offer a 50% increase in space utilisation over current packs, thanks to its optimised design.
More significantly, however, BYD claims that it has been proven to be far more durable than any equivalent, helping to reduce concerns over battery fires and explosions in EVs.
BYD tested the Blade Battery first by penetrating it with nails. While it's claimed a ternary lithium battery "violently burned" and exceeded 500deg C and a more typical lithium ion battery reached temperatures between 200 and 400deg C, the Blade Battery "emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated" and its temperature never exceeded 60deg C.
BYD claims the Blade Battery is far less susceptible to fire as a result. Further extra tests included crushing and bending the pack, heating it in a furnace to 300deg C and overcharging it by 260%. None of these tests apparently allowed any thermal runaways or fires to occur.
The company's motivation for launching the Blade Battery is rivals' ever-increasing "unreasonable pursuits of energy density". It alleges that battery makers are becoming obsessed with offering ever-greater range, with safety "sidelined" from battery development.
He Long, BYD vice-president and chairman of Findreams Battery Company, claimed that "many vehicle brands are in discussion with us about partnerships based on the technology", although he is yet to detail which these are.