Focused on the development of lithium-ion battery technology, CATL plans to industrialize sodium-ion batteries by 2023. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) introduced the first-generation sodium-ion battery in July 2021 with its AB battery pack solution. Through sodium-ion batteries, CATL will provide a new solution for the use of clean energy and transportation electrification. This will promote the early realization of carbon neutrality.
The lithium-ion battery was upgraded – cell energy density is up to 160Wh. If charged at room temperature for 15 minutes, the power can reach more than 80%. In a low-temperature environment of -20% C, the power has more than 90% of the discharge retention rate. Moreover, the system retention efficiency can reach more than 80%.
Electric vehicle manufacturers are drawn towards sodium-ion batteries now, given the price hike of cobalt. Sodium-ion battery is regarded as a great alternative to the lithium-ion battery. There are several more advantages to using a sodium-ion battery. Li-ion batteries cannot be discharged below 30% but sodium-ion cells can be fully discharged to zero volts.
It should be noted that lithium is a scarce element in the Earth’s crust and is very expensive. Sodium, on the other hand, is the sixth-most abundant element on Earth. It’s easy to find and easy to extract. And most of all, no country dominates the global value chain. But when looked into depth, China controls much of the global value chain. A noted geopolitical shift is likely as the global economy moves away from a dependency on Middle East’s oil to batteries from China.
Experts say Sodium-ion cells are an excellent replacement for lead-acid batteries for low-cost EVs, such as electric scooters, e-rickshaws, and e-bikes. It offers a much greater range and carrying capacity. Sodium-ion batteries have a higher energy density than lead-acid batteries and improved performance over a wide temperature range.