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CATL unveils sodium-ion battery

CATL unveils sodium-ion battery

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, better known as CATL, on Thursday unveiled what it said might be the world's first sodium-ion battery. The sodium-ion battery is a relatively new type of rechargeable battery similar to the commonly used lithium-ion battery. It could soon emerge as a cheaper and resource-saving alternative to lithium-ion cells, said a Citic Securities report.


According to Huang Qisen, deputy head of the CATL Research Institute, CATL's sodium-ion battery can reach an energy density of 160 Watt-hour/kilogram, currently the highest level in the world in this class of batteries, but relatively low when compared with that of lithium-ion batteries.


CATL's sodium-ion battery can be charged 80 percent in about 15 minutes at room temperature. The discharge retention rate will still be above 90 percent in environments with temperatures below-20 C.


On Thursday, CATL also announced the launch of the AB battery system, which can realize the integration and mixed-use of sodium-ion batteries and lithium-ion batteries, so as to supplement each other to meet a range of needs.


CATL also said it is developing next-generation sodium-ion batteries with an energy density of over 200Wh/kg. It has already started industrial deployment of its sodium-ion battery and plans to form a basic industry chain in 2023.


The Ningde, Fujian province-based company, which supplies batteries to automakers including Tesla Inc, Volkswagen AG, and Geely, saw its stock price soar 6.05 percent to 556.8 yuan ($86.14) per share on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Thursday.


A report from the US Geological Survey suggested that Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Australia, and the United States boast the world's largest lithium resources. The performance of sodium-ion batteries is between that of lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries. 


GF Securities predicted in a report that domestic demand for potential applications of sodium-ion batteries will be in the order of 123 gigawatt-hours, with sales revenues of around 53.7 billion yuan by 2025.


However, the report also stated the energy density of sodium-ion batteries is only about 50 percent of lithium-ion batteries. And the potential for sodium-ion batteries' commercialization remains to be explored.


Image source: China Daily


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