On April 16, CATL, a prominent battery company, announced that Chery vehicles will be equipped with its sodium-ion batteries. Additionally, the state-owned automobile manufacturer and CATL will collaborate to launch a new battery brand named “ENER-Q”. This partnership aims to develop various types of batteries including sodium-ion batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries, M3P batteries and more.
CATL unveiled its first-generation sodium-ion battery on July 29, 2021. This battery boasts a single-cell energy density of up to 160Wh/kg and can be charged to over 80% in just 15 minutes at room temperature. Additionally, it maintains a discharge retention rate of over 90%, even in low-temperature environments as cold as -20°C. CATL has announced that the forthcoming second-generation sodium-ion battery will surpass this performance with a single-cell energy density exceeding 200Wh/kg.
It is unclear which generation of CATL’s sodium-ion battery will be utilized in Chery’s vehicles, along with the battery’s performance and pack capacity.
CATL’s sodium-ion battery production process is not as fast as some Chinese manufacturers. In February of this year, HiNa Battery Technology and Sehol jointly unveiled the industry’s first sodium-ion battery test vehicle. This model boasts a cruising range of 252km, a battery capacity of 25KWh, and can be fast-charged in just 15 to 20 minutes. Additionally, Huayu New Energy Technology – a subsidiary of electric two-wheeled vehicle maker Yadea – released its first generation sodium-ion battery in March of this year.
CATL’s sodium-ion batteries have an advantage in energy density per cell. Huang Qisen, Vice President of the CATL Research Institute, stated that their innovative AB battery pack solution can integrate both sodium-ion and lithium-ion cells into one pack. This integration allows for the company’s sodium-ion batteries to be used in electric vehicles with a cruising range of up to 500 kilometers.
During the Yibin Cloud Summit Forum of the World Battery Conference on April 16, Ouyang Minggao, a Chinese Academy of Sciences academician, expressed his opinion that sodium batteries could help balance lithium battery prices. He also stated that it is unlikely for them to become a mainstream solution and their development may be passive once lithium prices decrease. Nonetheless, he emphasized the importance of developing sodium-ion batteries as they can serve as a useful supplement to lithium-ion batteries.