Northvolt Announces Sodium-ion Battery Technology

Northvolt Announces Sodium-ion Battery Technology

Swedish battery manufacturer, Northvolt, has announced a move into sodium-ion technology. The company has announced it has validated a sodium-ion battery with an energy density of 160Wh/kg developed with its research partner Altris. It indicated the technology will be used for battery energy storage systems (BESS) rather than electric vehicles. Peter Carlsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Northvolt estimated that in ten years’ time the order book for the technology could equal or exceed the size of its automotive orders that currently stand at circa USD55 billion. The progressive battery chemistry does not use lithium, nickel, cobalt or graphite, allowing Northvolt to have a more Eurocentric supply chain, reducing dependence on China. Instead, the batteries will use a hard carbon anode and a Prussian White-based cathode. 

The Use of Sodium-ion in Energy Storage 

Sodium-ion offers a cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion technology. Apart from substituting lithium with more abundant sodium, this cell chemistry eliminates the need for expensive copper current collectors, as aluminum can serve for both positive and negative electrodes. 

However, the success of sodium-ion in energy storage hinges on the chemistries it will compete against. Lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistries currently dominate the energy storage market, making up over 75% of installed BESS capacity YTD. Within China, battery producers such as CATL currently focus on LFP for energy storage. LFP prices are currently low and have well established supply chains which may erode the ability of sodium-ion technology to successfully enter the market. 

An area where sodium ion has an edge compared to LFP is on temperature. It has a wide operational temperature range, giving safety and stability at high temperatures whilst also retaining function at low temperatures. This can allow energy storage to be installed in remote or colder environments potentially removing the need for temperature control within the energy storage units.  

A Breakthrough for Energy Storage Battery Chemistry 

This makes Northvolt one of the first non-Chinese players to have a sodium-ion product validated for energy storage. Currently, Natron Energy in the US is the only other player to use sodium-ion technology in BESS, however it has a low energy density (20-30Wh/kg) with limited uses.  

Additionally, the use of a Prussian White-based cathode, a type of Prussian Blue Analogue (PBA), would be the first commercialisation of this technology in a sodium-ion cell. PBAs are thought of as a better cathode material option for sodium-ion than the conventionally used layered oxides. They do not contain key metals such as nickel, cobalt or manganese, only containing iron, sodium, carbon and nitrogen. This makes them potentially cheaper to manufacture, as well as giving it greater structural stability. Additionally, it improves the safety of the battery and extends the life cycle. These are two crucial properties when considering a battery for energy storage.  

The Sodium-ion Market 

The sodium-ion market has progressed further in China than elsewhere, with multiple Chinese players either offering sodium-ion products or in the final stages of testing. The market was ignited as lithium carbonate prices increased at the end of 2021 and remained high throughout 2022. This led to renewed research into alternative cheaper battery chemistries such as sodium-ion.  

Leading players within the Sodium-ion space include Hi-Na, CATL and Farasis. Hi-Na has deployed its sodium-ion technology into a megawatt-hour level BESS, as well as completing on-vehicle testing. CATL produces a sodium-ion LFP hybrid for an EV and is conducting research into sodium-ion BESS. Additionally, Farasis has completed on-vehicle testing for its sodium ion battery.  


Northvolt is among a handful of players leading the way for a European grown battery industry, with first shipments from its Ett Plant in 2022. It has also established itself as an energy storage integrator, with a facility in Poland expected to start production by the end of 2023. Considering Northvolt’s position it is well set to expand a sodium-ion cell business, being able to supply a fully integrated energy storage solution, as well as supply cells to other integrators. 

Peter Carlsson, CEO and Co-Founder of Northvolt, comments: “The world has put high hopes on sodium-ion, and I’m very pleased to say that we’ve developed a technology that will enable its widespread deployment to accelerate the energy transition. It’s an important milestone for Northvolt’s market proposition, but battery technology like this is also crucial to reach global sustainability goals, by making electrification more cost-efficient, sustainable and accessible worldwide.” 

Rho’s Evaluation 

The potential for this technology is huge…


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EV Charging and Infrastructure Insights – October 2023

See below for our EV Charging and Infrastructure market insights, October 2023. This features developments from across the EV & Charging market, and draws on data from our EV Charging Monthly Assessment and our Global EV Charging Outlook.

The EV Charging Assessment provides a breakdown of global and regional charging capacity, as well as the charging speeds and energy requirements of new vehicles sold and the EV fleet.

The Global EV Charging Outlook provides an analysis of the current and planned technologies at both the vehicle and charger level, and profiles the major players in the market, their relative competitive positions and plans for the future.

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The global sales weighted maximum BEV charging speed decreased marginally in September to 113kW, continuing the downward trend seen in recent months.


Highlights from the latest issue of EV Charging Monthly Assessment:
  • Monthly Spotlight: This month’s spotlight is on megawatt charging and how its future rollout poses some challenges from a grid perspective.
  • BP has placed an order worth USD100 million to Tesla for Supercharger hardware, marking the first time Tesla has sold the technology to an outside party.
  • Octopus Energy has announced it will expand its Electroverse platform to France, Spain and Italy.
Why do we track EV charging speed?

From 2018 to early 2020, the global average maximum BEV charging speed had been around 80kW with little variation, since then, the global average has been steadily rising. Tracking the maximum EV charging speed provides an insight to infrastructure requirements based on vehicle capability. The success of the Tesla Model Y with a 250kW maximum charging speed and the introduction of volume segment on dedicated EV platforms can account for this increase. As more and more OEMs roll out EVs on dedicated platforms there will be a rise in EV charging speed. Our speed tracker is based on monthly vehicle sales and our model-by-model analysis of vehicle charging capability

EV charging speed is just one element of the broader EV charging and infrastructure markets that we track. With the monthly assessment also providing monthly regional updates on infrastructure for both public and private charging.

Who benefits from understanding EV charging and infrastructure market dynamics?

OEMs, charging networks, charging solution providers, investment banks and other businesses with an interest in the EV markets benefit from the analysis provided in our EV charging reports. Those operating in the demand side gain informed insights into the development and scale of the EV charging technologies that are required. Meanwhile those on the supply side, gain an understanding of the current state of charging and regional trends from our monthly updates on the scale of the public and residential charging network.

How do we track the EV charging and infrastructure markets?

EV charging speed is just one of the many market-shaping factors that we track to provide in-depth analysis and long-term forecasts. Our forecasts are based on robust and informed methodologies looking at the requirement of chargers per vehicle on a country-by-country basis. We track BEV and PHEV fleet forecasts (from our EV & Battery Quarterly Outlook), EV charging unit requirement, EV charging market technology development, EV charging market technology cost development, driving behaviour and EV ownership demographics by country, private and public investment by country, and legislation and national targets by country.

For each vehicle model we collect data relating to maximum AC and DC charging capabilities, plug type(s), battery pack size, and battery chemistry in addition to a number of other vehicle metrics.

To produce our EV Charging Monthly Assessment, EV sales data is collected on a model-by-model basis from automotive associations, OEMs and data providers at country level for both BEV and PHEC vehicles for major markets. This analysis covers a minimum of 95% of total global market sales and provides a balanced representation of markets with different vehicle characteristics, suppliers and seasonality.

How could our data help you?

Access to the in-depth analysis that we provide, enables our clients to gain a thorough understanding of the EV charging market, form robust strategies, create future-proof plans and stay up-to-date with key market developments.

Our Global EV Charging Outlook is an essential tool for tracking the development of EV charging technologies and infrastructure roll-out by country or region. It provides long-term forecasts by country or region including:

BEV and PHEV Sales Forecast, (2018 – 2030), BEV and PHEV fleet forecast, (2018 – 2030), EV charging units in operation by technology forecast, (2019 – 2030), EV charging technology capex outlook and EV charging market value by technology, forecast (2018 – 2030).

The EV Charging Monthly Assessment provides an assessment of global and regional charging capabilities and energy requirements of both new vehicles sold and the EV fleet, based on the analysis of monthly BEV and PHEV sales by model, charging capacity by model, regional EV fleet assessment by charging capacity and sales weighted pack sizes. The report also covers the infrastructure side of the charging market, tracking the public and private charging infrastructure at a regional level.

Rho Motion’s EV Market Reports

To find out more about our EV charging and infrastructure reports, click on the links below or contact us on +44 (0) 203 960 9986. Alternatively complete the form below and we will be in touch.

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EV Charging Monthly Assessment >>

EV Charging Monthly Database >>

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EV Sales – September 2023

The Global EV Sales data below draws on work from our EV Sales Monthly Assessment, which provides a view of the progression of battery electric and plug-in hybrid sales globally month by month, as well as strategy and model updates. Click here to request more information on this report.

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In September 2023, BEV and PHEV sales were up by 2.9% month-on-month to 1.28 million units. Tesla’s sales decreased by 14% compared to August 2023, this decrease was predominantly driven by China, where Tesla had a 33% month-on-month decrease in sales, selling 22,000 fewer vehicles than it had last month and 34,000 fewer than in September last year. While Tesla experienced a decline this month, SAIC had the largest month-on-month increase of the top 10 best selling OEMs at 17%, with over 80% of its growth coming from the Wuling and MG marques.

This data is taken from our EV Sales Monthly Assessment. To request a copy of the full report, click here

Why do we track EV sales and EV battery demand?

As EV and battery market analysts, we track EV sales across all vehicle classes, cathode and anode chemistry, and battery demand on a monthly basis. Our tracker is used for analysis on the implications for raw material demand, and for the deployment of battery packs so that our members and followers can better understand what is driving global EV sales and battery demand.

Who benefits from understanding EV sales and EV battery demand?

In order to form robust strategies and informed policies, battery manufacturers, OEMs, EV battery technology companies and policy makers need a solid grasp of what EV battery demand looks like from region to region, and from one time period to the next. Anyone operating within the EV supply chain, will benefit from understanding EV battery demand, what is driving it and how it affects the EV market as a whole.

As part of the work involved to produce our EV and battery products, we publish a monthly EV Sales infographic, to offer our members and followers regular insights into how EV sales are developing globally. The infographic provides news highlights, and insights into monthly EV sales by region, top OEMs YTD, top five BEVs sold globally YTD, and global BEV and PHEV share, YTD.

How do we track the EV and battery markets?

Our EV Battery Chemistry Monthly Assessment, and our EV & Battery Quarterly Outlook both contain in-depth analysis into EV battery demand, EV sales and all other key variables that shape the EV and battery markets.

The EV Battery Chemistry Assessment is a weighted average of vehicle battery chemistry across passenger car and light duty vehicle, bus and coach, and medium and heavy duty vehicle sectors. Electric vehicle sales data is collected on a model-by-model basis from automotive associations at country level for both BEV and PHEV vehicles for major markets. This analysis covers a minimum of 90% of total global market sales, and provides a balanced representation of markets with different vehicle characteristics, suppliers and seasonality. Our EV battery demand index is derived from this data.

Our forecasts are based on robust and informed methodologies looking at the interactions between different functions in the supply chain. We track the following variables that impact the forecast: Legislation and incentives, OEM strategy, battery manufacturers’ capital investment and battery chemistry strategy, battery raw material pricing and costs, charging infrastructure investment, electric vehicle cost of ownership and consumer behaviour. For each vehicle model we collect data relating to battery pack size, battery chemistry, cell format, number of cells, and pack supplier in addition to a number of other vehicle metrics

How could our data help you?

Our insight and analysis on the EV market and battery technology advances, allow our clients to be fully up to date on latest developments, and will help inform the ways in which they react and respond to changing market dynamics. Businesses with an interest in the EV supply chain, from battery raw materials suppliers, battery manufacturers, OEMs, to charging infrastructure providers, will find it easier to form considered and forward-thinking strategies when equipped with Rho Motion data and analysis.

Rho Motion’s EV & Battery Market Reports 

To find out more about our EV & battery market reports, click on the links below or contact us on +44 (0) 203 960 9986. Alternatively complete the form below and we will be in touch.

EV & Battery Chemistry Monthly Assessment >>

EV & Battery Quarterly Outlook >>

EV & Battery Monthly Database >>

EV Motors Monthly Assessment >>

Hybrid EV & Battery Quarterly Outlook >>

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Greater Bay Technology Commissions Production Plant for Ultra-fast Charging Batteries

Greater Bay Technology Commissions Production Plant for Ultra-fast Charging Batteries

On the 30th of October, Greater Bay Technology  put into operation its battery manufacturing plant in Nansha, Guangzhou, China. The plant will mass produce the company’s Ultra-fast and eXtreme-Fast-Charging batteries, making it the world’s first large scale ultra-fast charging battery manufacturing plant. This first phase of construction began in 2022, at a cost of RMB2.5 billion (USD340 million).

Mass Producing of Ultra-fast Charging and XFC Batteries

This initial phase of the plant has a capacity of 4GWh. However, the company has planned a second phase that would bring total capacity up to 8GWh, and a total investment of RMB4 billion (USD550 million). On site, the factory is accompanied by an R&D centre, and a customer qualification plant designed to test new materials for large-scale production.

The Ultra-fast charging and the eXtreme-Fast-Charging batteries have a 4C and 6C rating respectively. The C rating of a battery refers to a battery’s charge and discharge rate. 4C is defined as 0-80% charge in 10-15 minutes, whilst 6C is 0-80% charging that takes less than 10 minutes.

A GAC Business

Established in 2020, Greater Bay Technology is backed by the GAC Group which hold a 35% share in the company. In 2021, its eXtreme-Fast-Charging battery, 6C rate version, was included in GAC’s Aion V Plus, with a charging time of circa 7.5 minutes 0-80%. In addition to GAC’s customer base, Greater Bay Technology also supplies Skyworth, Thalys, Dongfeng Heavy Truck, and West China Telecom. Its eXtreme-Fast-Charging 6C battery similarly is in the  , and Skyworth EV6. Furthermore, it has recently developed the Phoenix Battery, an 8C battery capable of 0%-80% charging in six minutes.

Greater Bay Technology has a planned total production capacity of 120GWh by 2025. This will be achieved with five bases in China and a total investment of RMB30 billion (USD4.1 billion).

Rho’s Evaluation

This recent announcement marks another significant step in the ongoing evolution EV industry. By 2030, we expect…


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Sources: QCTT

German Government Agrees Additional Funding to Northvolt Drei Gigafactory

German Government Agrees Additional Funding to Northvolt Drei Gigafactory

The German Government’s budget committee approved an additional EUR600 million (USD636 million) for Northvolt Drei. This follows on from previous funding in May 2022, after the initial announcement of the gigafactory in March 2022. The EUR600 million (USD636 million) will be paid out by the KfW bank, with the federal government assuming liability. The funding will be paid out in a repayable convertible bond.

A Germany Gigafactory

Northvolt announced Northvolt Drei in March 2022 signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government of Schleswig-Holstein. It included a EUR4.5 billion (USD4.77 billion) investment, set to create 3,000 jobs. Located in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, production is expected to begin in 2025. The company aims for it to have an annual production capacity of 60 GWh. Enough batteries to cater to one million EVs each year. In addition to this, Northvolt intends to have a battery recycling plant on site.

Additional Funding

Funding announced in May 2022 culminated to EUR155 million (USD164 million). Out of that amount, 70%, approximately EUR108 million (USD114 million), was funded by the federal budget. The remaining 30%, approximately EUR46 million (USD49 million), provided by the state of Schleswig-Holstein. This funding came through the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) legislation.  The additional convertible bond backed by the government is proposed to go beyond the initial EUR155 million (USD164 million) of funding. The financial support aligns with the EU’s Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF), meaning it is pending approval from the EU Commission.

Rho’s Evaluation

In October last year, Northvolt announced it was looking to relocate elsewhere. This was due to…

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Sources: SZ

ChargePoint Raises USD232 Million in Funding

ChargePoint Raises USD232 Million in Funding

ChargePoint, which holds just over a third of the US’ public EV charging infrastructure, announced it has secured USD232 million in funding. The funding comprises of USD175 million raised from the selling of new ordinary shares. The rest includes USD57 million raised under an at-the-market (ATM) facility, over the course of Q3 2023.

A Road to Profitability

This announcement comes after the company secured a significant USD150 million credit facility in July this year. Courtesy of leading financial institutions including JP Morgan, HSBC, Citi, and Goldman Sachs. Furthermore, it comes as ChargePoint battles the challenges of net losses, and liquidity issues. In Q2 this year, the company recorded a net loss of USD125.3 million, up from USD92.7 million in the previous year’s same quarter. Additionally, there have been reports of cash flow constraints. Its operational costs at the end of Q1 2023 were USD104 million, however, it only had USD314 million in cash remaining. This suffices to nine months’ worth of cash left in hand.

ChargePoint CFO Rex Jackson, commenting on the new financing, said: “We are pleased to secure USD232 million in funding this quarter, which supports our stated goal of adjusted EBITDA profitability in the fourth fiscal quarter of next year. These raises and our recently announced USD150 million revolving credit facility are consistent with our announced capital strategy to bolster our balance sheet. We have no further plans to access the ATM.”

Rho’s Evaluation

ChargePoint’s situation is not a unique one, but rather a common trend across multiple players in the industry. The rollout of charging infrastructure has been rapid in recent years, as players aim to gain as much market share as possible and make use of new incentives and subsidies. With high-speed DC chargers growing in popularity, the CapEx requirements for rolling out charge points are significantly higher. This, combined with the fact that utilisation rates remain low, means that balance sheets across the industry are under strain. ChargePoint, like many others in the market, is playing the long game and this latest funding round boosts confidence in this approach.

US charging point operators (CPOs) are also facing several new challenges. The growing popularity of the NACS has put pressure on CPOs to adopt this standard. In November 2022 Tesla opened the NACS to third parties, in March 2023, it then opened its fast-charging network to all EVs. This resulted in a flurry of OEMs announcing a switch to NACS by 2025.

Moreover, this shift has been accompanied by changing regulatory requirements and logistical challenges across different states. This causes delays and increases the complexity of accessing state and federal funding for charging initiatives. Kentucky and Texas announced that both NACS and CCS connectors will be required at any new charging stations if they are to benefit from public funds. It is expected Florida will also follow suit as well as other states in the longer term.

These factors collectively create a challenging environment for CPOs, necessitating careful planning and strategic decision-making to help navigate the evolving electric vehicle charging market.

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Sources: ChargePoint News