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BYD Buys Six Lithium Mines in Africa to Ensure Supply for the Next Ten Years

BYD is a highly versatile company. It produces most of the components it needs for its EVs, including batteries and semiconductors. As such, the Chinese carmaker has to ensure access to raw materials. According to The Paper, it has done precisely that after buying six African lithium mines that can deliver more than 25 million tons of lithium oxide.
BYD allegedly bought six African lithium mines to ensure supply for the next decade 18 photos
BYD SealBYD Seal sells 22,637 units in less than six hoursBYD Seal sells 22,637 units in less than six hoursBYD SealBYD SealBYD SealBYD SealBYD SealBYD SealBYD Seal pricesLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningBYD allegedly bought six African lithium mines to ensure supply for the next decade
The Paper made some calculations and estimated that this quantity of lithium is enough for BYD to keep selling 1.5 million electric cars per year until 2032. That would correspond to 15 million EVs. However, The Paper is probably counting on the probability that BYD will increase its annual sales year after year.

The actual calculation made by the Chinese website states that 25 million tons of lithium oxide would allow BYD to produce 27.78 million BEVs (battery electric vehicles). If all that metal is used in hybrids and plug-in hybrids, BYD could sell twice as many vehicles or more than 50 million electrified cars.

Those estimations are just a futurology exercise. BYD has ambitious expansion plans, and it is working hard to put its new EVs for sale in multiple new markets. The new BYD Seal sold 22,637 units in less than six hours. In other words, these 1.5 million EVs could soon turn into 3 million or even more electric cars sold per year.

If that happens, these six lithium mines in Africa may secure BYD’s supply for less than ten years. The company may have to buy more mines or establish more contracts with mining companies to get all the lithium it needs. In a way, that is another piece of evidence that solutions such as the one presented by Renault with the Scénic Vision Concept are more environmentally friendly than just putting as many batteries in cars as possible.

BYD already has reasonable PHEV solutions with the 1.5-liter Xiaoyun engine – the world’s most thermally efficient one. Capable of turning 43% of the chemical energy into movement, the Xiaoyun mill only operates when the electric range ends. With Blade Batteries providing up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) of range, most drivers will fire these engines only every once in a while.

Whatever people prefer to buy, BYD knows it is hard for any good Chinese cook to make food without rice. As the equivalent to this cereal for batteries is lithium, the company must ensure it has enough of it for years to come. According to The Paper, it is taking good care of that necessity.

Editor's note: The gallery presents images of the BYD Seal and of lithium mines.


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