BYD, the Chinese car and battery company who are now at the Detroit Auto Show with their "Dual mode" hybrids and e6 all-electric MPV (above) have made it known that they may be willing to license their inexpensive battery tech to other automakers. Indeed, they have already been fielding inquiries from Japanese, European and American firms. They say their "Fe battery," thought to be a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) formulation, costs less than half of what typical lithium ion batteries cost, and are safer and longer lasting. Their downside is that they can not hold as much energy and can add greatly to the weight of an electric vehicle. The BYD e6, for example, needs 1323 lbs of "Fe battery" to achieve its 249-mile range whereas the Tesla Roadster power pack weighs in at about 900 lbs. Despite that shortcoming we think this may be a decent solution for the right sort of vehicle and expect someone might take them up on it.
[Source: Reuters UK]