On the 18th of November, FinDreams, BYD’s battery making spin off, signed a deal with Huaihai Holding Group to jointly build a sodium-ion gigafactory. It follows on from an initial memorandum of understanding signed between BYD and Huaihai in June this year. The facility will be located in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province where Huaihai is headquartered.
A Move to Sodium-ion for BYD
FinDreams and BYD plan to invest a total of RMB10 billion (USD1.4 billion) in the project, aiming to a have 30GWh annual capacity. The venture aims to become the leading supplier of sodium-ion batteries for small cars globally. From earlier statements, Huaihai will provide application scenarios and marketing, whilst FinDreams will provide products and services. However, no timeline was mentioned for the progression of the project.
The move follows alleged reports, earlier this year, that BYD intends to use sodium-ion batteries in series produced models before the end of 2023. Reports indicated the company initially intends to use sodium-ion and lithium-ion hybrid batteries. However, BYD has not made any announcements.
The sodium-ion battery industry is still in a fledgling stage, initial progressions into it have slowed as lithium carbonate prices have fallen drastically over the last year. This has eroded the cost advantage of the chemistry. Additionally, the technology is not as advanced when compared to NCM or LFP chemistries, as sodium-ion batteries have lower energy densities. However, they can operate at much larger temperature ranges, are viewed as safer alternatives and are less reliant on critical minerals.
There are three main…
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