Niu will start using Na-Ion batteries from next year due to rising lithium prices

The coming electromobility brings a lot of burning questions. One day it is necessary where we take so many controversial materials, such as lithium, cobalt or nickel. The last two deal with LFP accumulators, which are becoming more and more widespread (in China, these cobalt-free cells even make up the majority, Tesla uses them in the Standard Range versions, and Ford will deploy them next year), lithium is dealt with on several fronts. It is being replaced by other elements, for example, batteries with silicon admixture are already used today, the proportions of which are gradually increasing. Another solution is sodium. Sodium batteries were introduced by CATL a year ago and should find their way into Niu’s electric bikes next year due to rising lithium prices.

The company managed to increase the price of its products by only about 7%, while the competition went up by 9-15%. So that she does not have to go even higher, she wants to give cheaper sodium batteries a chance (however, she will also switch to more modern lithium LMFPs). The disadvantage of Na-Ion compared to Li-Ion type LFP is a slightly lower energy density of 160 Wh/kg (LFPs have around 165-175 Wh/kg, LFMP approx. 190-200 Wh/kg and NMC 250-300 Wh/kg), an advantage is the possibility of faster charging and better behavior at low temperatures (at -20 °C they retain over 90% of capacity).

But we probably won’t see sodium batteries in cars too often. When introducing them, CATL also stated that they are ideal where energy density is not very important and where, on the contrary, price is very important (that is, even where relatively cheap LFPs are still quite expensive). This primarily means battery storage (equalizing battery buffers for RES do not have to increase the need for lithium at all, which is a frequent objection against them) and cheap variants of two-wheeled means of transport with a shorter range.


Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.

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