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How sodium ion batteries could slash the price of EVs

Yiwei EV
Yiwei EV

This from Yiwei is a Chinese EV with a difference: a Sodium ion battery

The accelerating march of progress must be giving product planners at car manufacturers a tough time.

Car technology has never been in such a state of flux as it is now, and given lithium ion batteries only really became a commercial big deal in the 1990s, the sudden shift towards cars powered by them is extraordinary.

But historical perspective as to what comes next is always useful. A close look at the single-cylinder engine of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen of 1885, for instance, reveals a crankshaft and internals exposed to the elements, something that’s unthinkable today.

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Given how fast things change in this business, chances are lithium ion batteries – which have drawbacks in terms of sustainability, energy security and cost – will be overtaken by another type of energy storage. Sodium ion batteries (SIBs, also known as Na ion batteries or NIBs) have been on the horizon for a while but they weren’t expected to be mature enough for cars for some time yet.

But early in January, Chinese car manufacturer JAC announced it was shipping a small electric car from its Yiwei brand equipped with a SIB from Hina Battery. JMEV, another Chinese firm, also announced the rollout of a new EV powered by SIBs from Farasis Energy. The JMEV EV3 (Youth Edition) is a micro-EV city car and has a range of 156 miles.