Lithium batteries have revolutionized our lives. They power our electronic devices, our cars and are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, this technology presents some problems, including the lack of materials necessary for its production.
Lithium, cobalt and nickel are valuable chemical elements found in limited quantities. Their extraction is often associated with precarious working conditions and environmental damage.
For this reason, many companies are investing in new sodium-based technology. Sodium is a far more abundant, economical and sustainable chemical element than lithium.
spread of Sodium batteries could represent a new revolution for our future, This can help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and create a more sustainable energy system.
Sodium car revolution: prices and prospects for the future
Experts estimate that by 2024 in China, The first cars running on sodium ion batteries will be present on the country’s roads., This all sounds promising, but an important question arises: how much will these cars cost compared to cars running on lithium batteries? According to a presentation by Chinese company HiNa Battery, the price difference could be between 30% to 40%.
However, experts remain cautious in their assessments. According to Gian Carlo Dozio of the Institute of Systems and Applied Electronics of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland, everything will depend first of all on the market and the optimization of industrial systems. This may not be a convenient solution today, but the future is hard to predict., A similar situation has emerged from London, where Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which specializes in monitoring the world of prices and materials in the power sector since 2014, has expressed caution about future prospects.
Sodium vs Lithium, Batteries of the Future
Sodium ion batteries are a promising technology that could revolutionize the electrical energy sector, especially for mobile applications such as electric cars. But what are the differences compared to traditional lithium ion batteries, which dominate the market today? Here’s a brief summary based on the opinions of some industry experts.
Sodium ion batteries have the advantage of being more affordableMore ecological it is more Safe Of Lithium Ion Batteries. Sodium is a much more abundant and less expensive element than lithium, and batteries using it can be easily and completely recycled, without the need for rare materials. Additionally, sodium batteries have a greater chemical and thermal stabilityWhich makes them more resistant to extreme temperatures and possible short circuits that can cause sparks and fires.
However, sodium batteries also have some disadvantages, such as low energy densitywhich translates to a Autonomy of electric vehicles installed in them reduced, Sodium is heavier than lithium, and so are sodium batteries. They have less capacity for the same weight and volume, According to Gian Carlo Dozio, the current density of sodium ion batteries is 160Wh/kg, compared to 250Wh/kg for lithium ions. a big difference.
because of this reason, Sodium batteries are still in development and are not yet able to compete with lithium batteries in terms of performance, China is the country that is investing the most in the research and production of sodium batteries with the aim of reducing its dependence on lithium and increasing its market share in the electric car sector. But there are also some projects and studies underway in Europe and Switzerland to improve sodium battery technology and make it more competitive. Sodium batteries are still an emerging technology, according to Rory McNulty, senior analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a firm that specializes in tracking the pricing and materials world that impacts the field of electrical energy applications. Which requires time and investment to mature.
Growth of sodium batteries in the energy market
The energy transition is already underway: sodium-based batteries are gradually taking over, currently used in bicycles, small three-wheelers and warehouse forklifts. Although they still represent a modest market share compared to lithium batteries, this marks the beginning of a significant change. According to experts, its prevalence on Chinese roads can be expected to increase in the next two to three years. In the rest of the world, a small revolution in this direction seems inevitable in the next five years.
The development will be gradual and inclusive, incorporating technologies such as lithium batteries. According to experts, sodium ion batteries will be available Use in areas that require low performance, such as short-range vehicles, They will be adopted wherever cost is an important factor, while weight and volume are less relevant.
Sodium batteries: the lithium price challenge
The recent decline in lithium prices from the December peak represents the latest hurdle in considering a transition to sodium. This decline has made the idea of adopting sodium as an alternative more bold. A year ago, when interest was at its highest, lithium prices were also high, but a significant 60% decline in January complicates the picture.
Rory McNulty Sotolinia Che Technologies take time to develop, especially when it comes to paths that have not yet been explored on an industrial scale. “Anytime you introduce a new technology, it takes time to adapt it and get its costs down,” McNulty says. However, because the elements and operations of the sodium and lithium technologies are very similar, McNulty suggests that it would be relatively easier and quicker to adapt a factory’s production process from one technology to the other than an entirely new technology starting from scratch. More easily than.