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BYD begins construction of 30GWh sodium-ion battery plant in China

Song Lewei, secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, and Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD, signing of 10 billion sodium-ion battery project, Nov. 2023.

After concluding 2023, with record-break sales of 3 million new energy vehicles, Chinese automotive major, BYD has achieved yet another milestone with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of its sodium-ion battery plant in Xuzhou City, China.

With an investment of 10 billion yuan (US $1.4 billion), the new facility is projected to have an annual capacity of 30GWh and will produce sodium-ion battery cells and battery packs. While the energy density for the BYD sodium-ion batteries is not known yet, the sodium-ion batteries produced by BYD will be used to power small electric cars and light electric vehicles (electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler).

In June 2023, BYD through its battery subsidiary, FinDreams signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese conglomerate Huaihai Holding Group, with the vision of becoming the world's largest supplier of sodium battery systems for small electric vehicles.

Sodium-ion batteries provide a low-cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries and are also more sustainable owing to their elimination of cobalt with reliance on abundantly available battery materials (sodium) and less disruptive ecological impact compared to lithium extraction.

But BYD is not the only player in the battery manufacturing space looking to build alternative battery capacity beyond the dominant lithium-ion batteries. In April 2023, China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd (CATL), a global leader in battery manufacturing announced CATL's first sodium-ion batteries will power Chery EV models.

In Europe, too, battery manufacturing major Northvolt, last November announced that it had successfully validated sodium-ion batteries with an energy density of over 160 watt-hours per kilogram at the company's R&D and industrialization campus at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. Northvolt confirmed that the first generation of sodium-ion cell will be designed primarily for energy storage, with subsequent generations delivering higher energy density to be used for e-mobility solutions.

According to Fastmarket, a cross-commodity price reporting agency, sodium-ion will make up 9 percent of all EV sales by 2033 market, with China having the largest sodium-ion battery demand -- reaching over 41GWh.

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Breakthrough in battery tech: Northvolt adds sodium-ion batteries to its portfolio -  

Swedish battery maker Northvolt announced that it has successfully validated sodium-ion batteries with an energy density of over 160 watt-hours per kilogram on Tuesday (Nov. 21).
Author : Shraddha Kakade
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