CATL, World's Largest EV Battery Maker, Unveils A New Battery Which Runs On Sodium Instead of Lithium

·2-min read

Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), the world's largest electric car battery maker, based in the Chinese coastal city of Ningde, has unveiled a new battery which runs on the cheap and abundantly available sodium instead of lithium.

CATL's sodium-ion batteries comes in the background of huge surge in demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are the key ingredients used in current batteries, Due to increasingly widespread adoption of electric vehicles, car and battery manufacturers across the world are seeking new alternatives to the current three main technologies -- nickel-cobalt-aluminium, nickel-cobalt-manganese and lithium iron phosphate batteries.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), the world's largest electric car battery maker, based in the Chinese coastal city of Ningde, has unveiled a new battery which runs on the cheap and abundantly available sodium instead of lithium.

Dr. Robin Zeng, chairman of CATL, unveiled the company’s first-generation sodium-ion battery, together with its AB battery pack solution - which can integrate sodium-ion cells and lithium-ion cells into one pack - at an online event on Jul 29.

CATL's sodium-ion batteries comes in the background of huge surge in demand for lithium, cobalt and nickel, which are the key ingredients used in current batteries, Due to increasingly widespread adoption of electric vehicles, car and battery manufacturers across the world are seeking new alternatives to the current three main technologies -- nickel-cobalt-aluminium, nickel-cobalt-manganese and lithium iron phosphate batteries.

About 70% of the world’s lithium resources are concentrated in South America, while 80% of China’s lithium supply depends on imports. In order to solve the problem, some enterprises have turned their attention to sodium batteries.

Another battery ingredient Cobalt is considered the highest material supply chain risk for electric vehicles (EVs) in the short and medium term.

CATL said that the new batteries will be mainly used in energy storage systems and two-wheeled vehicles, and will serve as a supplement to lithium-ion batteries.

Founded in 2011 and specialized in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as battery management systems (BMS), CATL operates manufacturing bases in Ningde, Qinghai and Liyang. Its three main R&D centers are based in Ningde, Shanghai and Berlin.

CATL dominates the global production of lithium iron phosphate batteries which use iron and phosphate instead of the more expensive nickel and cobalt. However, its global dominance is based largely on its presence in China, outside of which CATL is only one of the challengers to the South Korean and Japanese battery makers.

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