Sodium ion battery investment boom
Recently, listed companies such as Aucksun, Shunho and Pret disclosed announcements to lay out sodium ion battery projects. Similar to lithium industry, the sodium ion battery track has seen a surge of investment. As the industrialization of sodium ion battery continues to accelerate, the capacity will continue to be released in the next two to three years.
What is a sodium battery
The principle of sodium ion battery and lithium ion battery is very similar, they are charged by the principle of Na+ ion or Li+ ion leaving the positive electrode, passing through the electrolyte and lithium battery separator. At the same time the transition metal element rises in value, transfer e- to the collector fluid, via the external circuit to reach the negative electrode; Na+ or Li+ by the negative electrode surface SEI layer, gain electrons, become Na or Li embedded in the negative electrode embedded in the negative electrode process, that is, a charging process, then the discharge is the reverse process. Because the charged ions are running around between the positive and negative electrodes, this type of battery is also imaginatively called “rocking chair” battery.
Listed companies accelerate layout
On the evening of December 12, Aucksun announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary recently signed an agreement with Hinabattery on the joint development, mass production, application promotion and iterative development of cylindrical sodium ion batteries, under which both parties will take advantage of their respective fields of cell manufacturing and materials R&D and production to promote the mass production and market application of sodium ion batteries as soon as possible.
Aucksun said the company continues to track and research sodium-ion battery technology and has stockpiled related technologies. At present, the 26700 production line of the first factory has been put into operation; the second phase of the third factory has started construction, which will build a large cylindrical production line of about 9GWh, applicable to a variety of new energy battery products such as lithium-ion and sodium-ion, and is expected to be able to mass production in early 2024.
On the evening of December 12, Shunho announced that the company intends to sign an agreement with Joysun, under which the two parties will jointly research and develop core material technologies and battery packaging processes for sodium ion batteries, and form a relevant intellectual property system to realize the production and sales of sodium ion battery products. According to the announcement, Joysun currently has a sodium ion battery production sample line and a pilot line with an annual production capacity of 100MWh, and some sodium ion battery products have been sent to samples.
In addition, Pret announced that it intends to invest in the construction of a digital factory project for sodium-ion and lithium-ion batteries with an annual production capacity of 1.3GWh through its holding subsidiary, with a total investment of RMB 218 million and a construction period of about 7 months. The company’s business will be further expanded from the lithium field to the sodium field, which is a forward-looking layout for the future market demand of sodium ion batteries.
Industrialization process speed up
Sodium ion batteries work similarly to lithium ion batteries. In contrast, sodium ion batteries have obvious advantages in terms of cost and resources, as well as high safety, wide temperature range, high multiplier, full charge and discharge characteristics.
A lot of lithium-ion battery manufacturers is in the layout of sodium ion batteries. In July 2021, CATL, as the leading one in the top 50 lithium ion battery manufacturers in China, took the lead in releasing the first generation of sodium ion batteries, which sparked widespread interest from all walks of life. Since this year, Great Power, Ronbay, and other listed companies have laid out sodium-ion battery projects, and many of them have made important progress. In October this year, CATL revealed on the interactive platform that the company is committed to promoting the industrialization of sodium ion batteries in 2023.
On November 29th, the world’s first GWh sodium ion battery production line, jointly invested by Three Gorges Energy and Three Gorges Capital, the People’s Government of Fuyang City, Anhui Province, China, and Zhongkehai Sodium, was launched in Anhui, China, marking the production line’s ability to produce sodium ion batteries on a large scale. Recently, Transimage indicated that the first phase of the company’s sodium battery project will proceed as planned, with a capacity of 4.5 GWh. Previously, the company’s sodium ion battery project pilot line was put into operation in October, with a capacity of 200 MWh.
The sodium ion battery industry is still in the early stage of development. As more and more listed companies join in, the industrialization process of sodium ion battery will be further accelerated. The latest research report shows that the sodium ion battery industry is gaining momentum as a whole, and the industrialization process continues to advance, and the sodium ion battery industry chain is expected to be basically formed in 2023.
Further enriched application scenarios
Since this year, the Chinese government has issued several documents to provide policy support for the standardized development of the sodium ion battery industry, among others, which will further promote the continued and steady development of the sodium ion battery industry. in August 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a document proposing to accelerate the technological breakthrough and large-scale application of sodium ion batteries.
At present, the production cost of sodium ion batteries is still high, and the application scenarios are mainly in the fields of communication base stations, low-speed electric vehicles, electric bicycles and other areas with relatively low energy density requirements. With the accelerated industrialization process and continuous technological progress, the advantages of sodium ion battery cost and technology will be further highlighted, and the production capacity will be accelerated and it may replace lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries in a wider range of applications, such as golf cart batteries, solar batteries or electric car batteries.
Sodium ion battery technology and material system are expected to be basically finalized by the end of 2022. Thanks to the industry chain leader to step up the layout, the first year of sodium ion battery industrialization will come in 2023, and the global demand will exceed 100GWh in 2025.