Chinese E-car Manufacturer Tests Lithium Alternative

by | 23. Feb 2023 - 10:52 | Economy

Sodium-ion battery enables 250-kilometer range.

Chinese electric car maker Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) is testing the use of sodium-ion batteries in its vehicles as a lower-cost alternative to commonly used lithium cells, Bloomberg reports. To that end, the state-backed company is cooperating with HiNa Battery, a company founded in 2017 that specializes in the technology, it said.

As a natural component of table salt, sodium is readily available in almost unlimited quantities, unlike lithium, which requires costly mining and further processing. Recent high prices for the critical mineral have driven the development of sodium-ion cells, Bloomberg writes. However, these have a comparatively low energy density and have thus far been considered less suitable for e-cars.

JAC and HiNa Battery have now presented a demonstration vehicle at an industry conference, with a range of around 250 kilometers. According to Bloomberg, HiNa’s batteries still have to be certified and approved by the authorities.

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