Are Sodium-ion Batteries the future?

Are Sodium-ion Batteries the future?

Are Sodium-ion Batteries the future?

Sodium-ion batteries, with their recent advancements, are emerging as a strong contender in the battery technology space. Their use of abundant and cheaper sodium could significantly lower costs and make battery technology more accessible, potentially transforming the electric vehicle market and beyond. Though they have a lower energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries, their performance is better than lead-acid batteries and improvements are rapidly closing the gap. With projections of achieving energy densities near 150 watt-hours per kilogram by 2025, they could become a viable alternative for a wide range of applications, indicating a significant role in the future of batteries.

Will Sodium-ion replace Lithium-ion?

Sodium-ion batteries are making strides but won't outright replace lithium-ion batteries due to their lower energy density. However, they offer significant advantages, such as cost-effectiveness and the use of more abundant materials, making them a compelling option for certain applications. As technology advances, they could serve as a complementary solution, particularly in areas where the high energy density of lithium-ion is not a prerequisite. Their evolution suggests a diversified future for battery technology rather than a total replacement scenario.

Are Sodium-ion batteries safe?

Sodium-ion batteries are generally considered safer than lithium-ion batteries due to their lower risk of thermal runaway, fires, or explosions. The materials used in sodium-ion batteries are less prone to catching fire compared to the volatile organic electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. This inherent stability means that, in the event of a failure, sodium-ion batteries are less likely to experience the kind of catastrophic thermal events seen with some lithium-ion systems. While both battery types have safety measures in place to prevent thermal runaway, the chemistry of sodium-ion batteries offers a higher threshold for thermal abuse, making them a safer alternative in applications where fire safety is paramount.


Sodium Battery compared to Lithium Battery

Energy Density

70-160 Wh/kg, which is less than NMC, but is close to LFP.

Raw Material Cost

Cheaper. Sodium hydroxide is $300~800/ton, compared to Lithium-hydroxide which ranges from $60,000~$80,000/ton.


Safer, as they do not explode or catch fire easily

Environmental Impact

More environmentally friendly as they do not use rare earth metals, but rather abundant and easily available materials

Performance at low temperatures

Maintains >90% performance at -20°C, and lithium drops considerably at 0°C.

Cycle Life

Tend to have a shorter lifespan and can be recharged fewer times, but potentially could be comparable to Lithium with more advanced research


Suitable for large-scale energy storage applications


Simple recover process compared to the complex separation of lithium

How are Sodium-ion cells made?

Sodium-ion cells are manufactured through a process akin to that used for lithium-ion batteries, which allows for seamless integration into existing production lines. This approach is often described as using the same kitchen but cooking with a different recipe, highlighting the operational similarities and ease of transition for manufacturers. This method leverages the abundance and safety of sodium-based materials, offering a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative without the need for significant changes in the manufacturing infrastructure.

Who makes Sodium-ion cells?

Several companies globally are leading the development and production of sodium-ion cells. Notable among them are:

  • Natron Energy Inc., based in California, U.S., is recognized for its high power, long life, and low-cost Prussian Blue Sodium Ion battery solutions, suitable for various applications including data center UPS systems and electrically powered materials handling equipment.
  • HiNa Battery, located in Beijing, China, specializes in the R&D and production of sodium-ion batteries, boasting a number of core patents for this technology. Their products are aimed at a wide range of applications from electric bicycles to large-scale energy storage.
  • Ronbay Technology, with its headquarters in Zhejiang, China, although primarily known for its lithium battery cathode materials, is also venturing into sodium-ion battery technology, focusing on the development of Prussian white and layered oxide cathode materials.
  • Zoolnash, based in Jiangsu, China, is an emerging company in the sodium-ion battery sector, conducting in-depth research on low-cost, long-cycle sodium-ion batteries with a focus on a variety of applications including electric vehicles and energy storage.
  • Faradion Limited, in the UK, is recognized for its advancements in sodium-ion battery technology, offering solutions for stationary storage and electric vehicles. Following its acquisition by Reliance New Energy Solar, Faradion has further strengthened its position in the market​​.

Other significant contributors include Altris AB in Sweden, AMTE Power PLC in the UK, CATL in China, NGK Insulators Japan, and TIAMAT SAS in France. These companies are exploring various aspects of sodium-ion technology, from new cathode materials to applications in electric vehicles and energy storage, indicating a robust and growing ecosystem around sodium-ion battery technology.

Why Sodium-ion?

Sodium-ion technology is crucial due to its promise of a more sustainable, accessible, and cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries. With sodium being the sixth most abundant element on Earth, sodium-ion batteries leverage widely available resources, reducing dependence on scarce and expensive materials like lithium. This abundance translates to lower costs and less environmental impact, making energy storage solutions more feasible across a wider range of applications, from electric vehicles to grid storage. Additionally, sodium-ion batteries offer safety advantages over lithium-ion counterparts, including a lower risk of thermal runaway. Their development represents a significant step towards meeting global energy demands more efficiently and sustainably, positioning sodium-ion batteries as a key player in the future of energy storage.

See our Sodium-ion cells for sale on Off Grid Solar Store:

 Prismatic Cells

18650 Cells


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