China’s CATL Reveals the First-generation Sodium-ion Battery

Highlights :

  • CATL has revealed its first-gen Sodium-ion battery.
  • This battery would be cost-effective and have a high rate of charging with an energy density of 160Wh/kg.
  • The supply chain for these batteries is expected to establish in 2023.

Chinese battery giant, Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) has today revealed the first of its Sodium-ion battery.

At a launch event today, the battery maker also announced that it has planned to set up a supply chain for the new technology in 2023. Although the firm has not disclosed the prices of the battery yet, the researchers have confirmed that this battery would solve the cost challenges.

Why Sodium-ion Battery?
As carbon neutrality has become a global concern and electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular, demand for key battery ingredients, particularly cobalt, has spiked. That has encouraged car and battery makers to explore alternatives to the modern three main technologies – nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA), nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM), and lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

The research and development (R&D) speed of basic materials is accelerating, which has opened a two-way window for the industrialization of sodium-ion batteries. The sodium-ion battery has a similar working principle to the lithium-ion battery, and the charge transfer is realized mainly through the insertion and extraction of sodium ions between the positive and negative electrodes.

How is it?
According to the firm, the first-generation sodium-ion battery developed by CATL has high energy density, high rate charging, excellent thermal stability, good low-temperature performance, and high integration efficiency.

The energy density of the battery cell is as high as 160Wh/kg, which is still lower than lithium batteries. It can get charged at room temperature for 15 minutes, and the power can reach more than 80% in a low-temperature environment of -20°C. It also has a discharge retention rate of more than 90%, system integration efficiency can reach 80 % Above, and the thermal stability far exceeds the safety requirements of the country’s standards.

This first-generation sodium-ion battery can not only be applied to various EVs but, also can be flexibly adapted to the application requirements in the energy storage field.

Giving tough competition to its fellow companies like Japan’s Panasonic Corp. and South Korea’s LG Chem, CATL has taken a new path in battery system integration and developed an AB battery system solution. In the AB battery system, sodium-ion battery and lithium-ion battery are mixed and matched in a certain proportion, integrated into the same battery system.

According to Chairman, Mr. Zeng Yuqun, CATL has built a high-throughput material integrated computing platform to conduct simulation calculations and design simulations on materials at the atomic level. The energy density R&D goal of the next generation sodium-ion battery is 200Wh/kg or more. Although the firm has not disclosed the prices of the battery yet, the researchers have confirmed that this battery would solve the cost challenges.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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