Next Generation Sodium Ion Hybrid Battery Expands Electric Vehicle Capabilities
Chinese battery giant CATL has launched the first generation of sodium-ion batteries, providing new solutions for the development of clean energy and electrified transportation, as well as contributing to carbon neutrality.
As electric vehicles become more popular, demand for key battery components, especially cobalt, has skyrocketed. This is forcing EV manufacturers to look for alternatives to existing battery types, including Nickel Cobalt Aluminum (NCA), Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP).
Compared to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, sodium ion batteries do not contain cobalt or nickel and will be available in large quantities.
Sodium ion battery chemistry outperforms LFP in performance at low temperatures, fast charging, durability and system integration efficiency. But at the present time, such batteries are not power-hungry enough. The new Chinese battery has a specific cell energy of 160 Wh / kg, which is currently the highest for this type of cell in the world. At room temperature, the battery can be charged to 80% in just 15 minutes.
Even in environments with temperatures below -20 ℃, this sodium-ion battery retains more than 90% capacity, and the system integration efficiency can reach over 80%. CATL researchers are aiming for a specific energy density of the next generation of their sodium-ion batteries of 200 Wh / kg or more and are planning to begin industrial production in 2023.
In terms of system integration, sodium-ion batteries can be used together with other types (eg, lithium-ion, which have a higher energy density) in the same battery pack. To this end, CATL has developed a hybrid battery system solution that allows sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries to be used together. Combined with the intelligent control system, the vehicle can use the low temperature characteristics of the sodium-ion battery or the high energy density of the lithium-ion battery, depending on the operational need. Thus, the advantages of high power and low temperature performance can be well realized by a sodium-ion battery, and the lack of energy density can be compensated for by a lithium-ion battery.