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Sodium-ion batteries for electric vehicles


Small electric JAC car (Photo credit: JAC Motors, ref 3).

The following text has been extracted from the entry Sodium-ion battery in Wikipedia (the free encyclopedia), and is licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0:

“The sodium-ion battery (NIB or SIB) is a type of rechargeable battery that uses sodium ions (Na+) as its charge carriers. In some cases, its working principle and cell construction are similar to those of lithium-ion battery (LIB) types, but sodium replaces lithium as the cathode material. It also belongs to the same group in the periodic table as lithium and thus has similar chemical properties.

“SIBs received academic and commercial interest in the 2010s and 2020s, largely due to the uneven geographic distribution, high environmental impact, and high cost of many of the materials required for lithium-ion batteries. Chief among these are lithium, cobalt, copper and nickel, which are not strictly required for many types of sodiumion batteries. The largest advantage of sodium-ion batteries is the natural abundance of sodium, which can be readily harvested from saltwater.

Challenges to the adoption of SIBs include lower energy density and issues with charge-discharge cycles.

“… CATL, the world’s biggest battery manufacturer, announced in 2022 the start of mass production of SIBs. In February 2023, the Chinese HiNa Battery Technology Company placed a 140 Wh/kg sodium-ion battery in an electric test car for the first time, and energy storage manufacturer Pylontech obtained the first sodium-ion battery certificate from TÜV Rheinland.”

A more detailed discussion with textual references is available from the Wikimedia article [1]. A longer article by H. Kim, Sodium-ion battery: can it compete with Lithium-ion? is available from ACS Publications [2].

Very recently the Chinese automaker JAC group teamed up with HiNa to create a commercially available electric car powered by a sodium-ion battery. The previous sodium-ion batteries weren’t efficient enough to compete with lithium-ion batteries for use in the operation of electric vehicles. According to Chemical & Engineering News, sodium-based batteries typically store only about two-thirds the amount of a similarly sized lithium battery. However HiNa has turned that around by developing batteries suitable for small cars that have a range of 250km on one charging. And during the last decade HiNa has been developing some better sodium-ion batteries for a range of applications, including buses, miniature vehicles (including bikes), and home energy storage.

Sources: 1.


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