China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams), the largest producer of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in the world, have released a new solar battery, the BYD B-Box, to compete with the likes of the Tesla Powerwall, Redflow and LG’s line of energy storage. The media launch was in late March in Sydney and BYD have signaled their intent to move aggressively into the Australian market. They’re a gigantic company based in Shenzhen with a market cap of $22b (Warren Buffet owns 8.25% of the company) and are bigger than Tesla (their battery factory is currently producing a massive 8.6gigawatts, 8 times larger than Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory) , so they certainly pose a very realistic threat to the incumbent solar battery producers.
BYD B-Box Models
The B-Box comes in high voltage (HV) and low voltage (LV) – with the B-Box LV Residential the solar battery we expect to be the most interest to Australian consumers. The LV model comes in four flavours, listed below (please note you’ll also need to purchase a compatible inverter to go with the B-Box – but given the size of the company we expect that won’t be much of a problem):
BYD B-Box Price in Australia
BYD’s previous solar battery, the Mini, was a 6kWh system which retailed for around $11,000 AUD. Technological improvements and component price decreases means that the B-Box 10 will cost $8,500 AUD for an a 10kWh system, representing a reduction in price per kWh of over 50%. Liu Xue-liang, sales manager has indicated that BYD will be throwing their considerable heft behind the product and BYD’s electric car business, being quoted as saying: “This is not just a new product, it is a new industry,”.
BYD B-Box vs Tesla Powerwall 2
In contrast to the Bbox prices previously outlined, the Tesla Powerwall 1 was a $10,000 system at 7kWh and the Tesla Powerwall 2 will feature a 14kWh battery at $8,000 AUD – slightly more impressive figures for their second gen offering.
According to Adam Clements from Solar Australia the price declines in solar mean a 5.5kW PV roof solar system, inverter, and 7.5kWh BYD battery costs around $15,00 and pays for itself over eight years.
The BYD can have an AC or a DC inverter, as opposed to the AC only Powerwall 2. The B-Boxes also have very high power output, with the B-Box 10 able to give 10.24kW of power continuously (this would empty the battery in less than an hour). In comparison the Powerwall 2 can only output 5kW so if you were using it off-grid or as a backup for power-hungry devices, keep this in mind.
Please take a look at our post on Solar Batteries in Australia and Tesla Powerwall Competitors and Alternatives for further comparisons.