CATL’s sodium-ion cells: Game changing or window dressing?

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On 29 July, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) unveiled its first-generation sodium-ion (Na-ion) battery along with its AB battery pack solution. The Na-ion cells are composed of a Prussian white cathode and a hard carbon anode, which look to reach 160 Wh/kg, near-LFP specific energy. CATL plans to use both Na-ion and lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells in the same electric vehicle (EV) battery pack, combining the low-temperature performance of Na-ion cells with the high energy performance of Li-ion cells by individually managing cells using its battery management system. CATL claims its Na-ion cell can charge up to 80% state-of-charge (SOC) in 15 minutes, and that the cell capacity can retain 90% of its capacity at -20 °C. This insight addresses three key questions: - How does sodium-ion derisk the supply chain pressure? - How big could the sodium-ion market get by 2030? - Is the sodium-ion supply chain sufficient to support the demand rise?

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