The news about a BYD-powered Tesla Model Y produced at the Tesla Giga Berlin-Brandenburg plant in Grünheide in Germany returns like a boomerang.
According to the German publication Teslamag (via Electrive), Tesla has just started production of a new base version of the Model Y (RWD) at the plant in Europe (on top of the Long Range AWD and Performance versions).
The most important part of the report, based on unofficial “reliable sources,” is that this new rear-wheel drive version is equipped with batteries supplied by BYD. Rumors about BYD-powered Teslas in Germany were previously reported in August 2022 (here and here). Most recently, Elon Musk tweeted that “Relations between Tesla and BYD are positive,” without elaborating on the topic of the relations/joint project.
The article says also that the battery is a structural type (the battery cells not only store energy but also carry a physical load). Additionally, the new car is equipped with front and rear mega castings.
Nothing more is known, but it’s believed that the new BYD battery is the Blade Battery (LFP chemistry), in a cell-to-pack/cell-to-chassis system (produced in China and imported to Europe), just like in the BYD Seal model.
Rumored Tesla Model Y RWD in Europe:
- rear-wheel drive (RWD)
- BYD Blade battery (LFP chemistry)
- structural battery
- front and rear mega castings
The capacity of the battery remains unknown, but as we know from the previous report (August 2022), there was a type approval from the European Union signed “Type 005” (internally known as the “Y7CR” variant), which had a 55-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery for 273 miles (440 km) in the combined test cycle (WLTP we assume).
For reference, the currently available in Europe Model Y RWD imported from China, is equipped with prismatic LFP batteries from CATL (probably around 60 kWh) and offers up to 283 miles (455 km) of range (WLTP).
The other two versions, produced in Germany (LR AWD and Performance), are equipped with 2170-type cylindrical battery cells (as far as we know, some kind of NCM family from LG Energy Solution, imported from China).
The rumor about a BYD-powered Tesla Model Y in Europe is interesting, but we have to wait for confirmation. If the rumor is true, then it means that the CATL-powered Model Y probably will not be imported to Europe anymore. The question is whether the new version will be more competitive/less expensive.