China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has approved JAC Motors’ sodium ion (Na-ion) battery vehicle, the Hua Xianzi (The Flower Fairy). It marks another step towards the full commercialisation of this Na-ion vehicle. The listing comes eight months after JAC initially unveiled its prototype at China’s ‘National Sodium-ion Battery Summit’.

A Na-ion City Car

The Flower Fairy will be a five-seat passenger vehicle, city car, equipped with a 25kWh Na-ion battery. The battery is supplied by Hi-Na Battery Technologies and has an energy density of 140Wh/kg at the pack level, with a CLTC range up to 250 km on a single charge. Furthermore, the vehicle should have normal function at temperature ranges as low as -40 degrees and a fast-charging time that does not exceed 25 minutes for 10% to 80%. The Flower Fairy will be produced under the SOL brand, a joint venture (JV) between JAC and Volkswagen Group since 2017. In 2020, Volkswagen acquired a 50% stake in JAC Motors’ parent company, JAC Motors Group. In addition to this, it increased its stake in the JAC Volkswagen JV to 75%. This considered, production of the Flower Fairy will occur at JAC’s Hefei plant in Anhui.

Rho’s Evaluation

Lithium-ion is the current norm in the electric vehicle industry, as it is the highest performing technology available. However, as demand increases so does the price of lithium. Consequently, we are seeing more Chinese players opting for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistries, due to its lower production costs. With this shift, we are also seeing the emergence of Na-ion battery chemistries. Sodium has the positives of being more abundant to lithium and having lower raw material costs. As Na-ion technology advances we expect…

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Image credit: Adobe Stock

Sources: MIIT