Sodium batteries are one of the most exciting things about electric cars for the next few years. And not because they have excellent benefits but because they are very inexpensive. This is the tech that will be in the new cheap electric cars. The main companies that make batteries, CATL and BYD, have already said they are ready to ship, but Svolt just joined the "party." They already have their first sodium-ion battery ready, and its energy density is 100 Wh/kg (Watt-hour per kilogram).
The electric car industry is looking at solid-state batteries and sodium batteries as two critical technologies for the future of transportation. The first will last longer and have better charging times than current lithium-ion batteries. It will also have more power. The sodium batteries, however, are much cheaper than the first type. This technology is much more critical to the general public because it will make it possible for cheap electric cars to be on the market, unlike the options that are being proposed right now. The company Svolt Energy just announced that their prototype first-generation sodium-ion battery with an energy density of 100 Wh/kg is now finished. The company director, Jiang Weijun, said this, and he is also thinking about his plans for this technology.
The company's director said they have finished making a prototype of their first-generation sodium ion battery and are now working on the second generation. They already plan to complete this design by the end of the first quarter of 2023, which will significantly increase the energy density. Now, they have reached 100 Wh/kg, but with the next generation, they hope to reach 135 Wh/kg.
Yes, the data is already excellent, but the most important thing will happen in the fourth quarter of 2023. Why? Because by then, the final design of its sodium-ion battery should be finished. It should have an energy density of 160 Wh/kg and be able to be charged and discharged more than 2,000 times. And this is the most important point because CATL's sodium-ion batteries have already reached 160 Wh/kg and are the best in the world right now.
Even though the energy density of a sodium-ion battery is much lower than that of an LFP-type battery, it works much better at low temperatures. In addition, they work much better when it comes to fast charging. So far, Svolt has reached 100 Wh/kg, but CATL has already said it will get 200 Wh/kg soon, and lithium-ion can already go over 300 Wh/kg. But, as we've already said, sodium batteries will be used more in cheap electric cars with a shorter range.
One of the other benefits of sodium-ion batteries is that they rely on something other than critical materials that are in short supply in the electric car industry. This means that the prices of electric cars are more connected to the availability of these materials and geopolitical issues. Aside from being used in cheap electric cars and the exciting use of sodium batteries, they may also be a turning point in how energy is stored on a large scale. Those enormous batteries store energy from the sun and wind for whole cities.