Competing with Lithium: Cheaper Sodium Batteries Catching Up

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The Chinese battery specialist CATL has announced a new cell chemistry requiring no cobalt, nickel, or lithium. At the end of July 2021, the world’s largest battery manufacturer CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology), surprised the public with an announcement about its new sodium battery. In this battery, sodium ions move back and forth between the cathode and the anode. The energy density of 160 Wh/kg is significantly lower than that of current batteries, which can hold about 270 Wh/kg. However, the density is expected to increase to 200 Wh/kg in the next generation. There are other advantages as well. CATL’s sodium cell has excellent cold resistance (90 percent capacity at minus 20 degrees) and outstanding fast-charging capability (0 to 80 percent in 15 minutes). It is scheduled to be launched in 2023.

Dr. Qisen Huang, deputy dean of the CATL Research Institute, said that sodium-ion battery manufacturing is perfectly…

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