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China Leading the Way With Rechargeable Sodium Batteries – NYT

China’s expertise in chemical refining and production could see it lead a shift to rechargeable batteries that use sodium rather than lithium, a new report says

electric vehicle (EV) battery
An employee works on the production line of electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Octillion in Hefei. Photo: Reuters.


China’s dominance in chemical refining and production is transforming the auto industry and could see it “command the next big innovation in rechargeable batteries: replacing lithium with sodium,” according to a New York Times report, which said sodium is far cheaper, found all over the world, and that recent breakthroughs mean sodium batteries can now be recharged daily for years and that their energy capacity has increased, while they don’t need minerals such as cobalt or nickel, and can keep their charge when temperatures drop below freezing, unlike lithium batteries.

China’s EV battery giant CATL says it can use sodium cells in a single EV battery pack and that it is now prepared to mass produce these such battery packs, the report said, noting that most of the 20 sodium battery factories planned or being built around the world are in China, and that the most promising initial use for sodium batteries may be for the to enable electricity grids to store renewable power for use after the sun stops shining or the wind stops blowing.

Read the full report: The New York Times.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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