2024 Sodium-ion Batteries: Transforming the Future of Electric Vehicles

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Sodium-ion Batteries

Sodium-ion batteries, I honestly had no idea they were going to be this good. A sodium-ion battery, which was designed by an ex-Tesla engineer, can hit 300-mile range parity with new lithium-ion phosphate cells for cheaper electric cars.

Now, this Tesla engineer, he’s left Tesla, but Tesla could have done with this technology. This sounds incredibly impressive.

Sodium-ion Battery Advantages

sodium batteries would blow the industry up. That would have been true because we’ve seen sodium-ion battery energy density increase pretty significantly over the last two years at a faster pace than any other battery technology in the world.

If you can come up with something else that’s improved its energy density by 40% over the past two years, then tell me what it is because I don’t know what it is.

But what’s happened is because the price of lithium has dropped by a staggering amount, which absolutely nobody predicted. Sodium-ion Batteries

There is nobody walking around saying like the big short, that dude saying, Hey, I’m a genius.

I predicted the financial crisis with the mortgage industry in the United States. There’s nobody walking around saying, I predicted that lithium prices would fall by such an insane %, 90% at one point in time, no one did that.

Cost and Energy Density Comparison

So we all thought that CATL, the world’s biggest battery company, they said they could make a sodium on battery for 30% less priced because the price of sodium is so much cheaper than the price of lithium.

Therefore, all these companies, including this ex-Tesla engineer, went, You know what? Let’s do the same. Sodium-ion Batteries

Let’s design a sodium ion batteries, make it have higher energy density. We know that sodium is cheap. It will be a viable alternative to lithium.

Bedrock Materials’ Breakthrough

Now, at some point in the future, lithium prices will certainly rise. Demand is projected to increase by more than 500% in the United States by 2030.

I think globally, the figure will be similar to that, and that will have to push the price of lithium back up, making sodium-ion batteries extremely competitive, especially with this energy density.

A former battery module design engineer at Tesla is of the opinion that sodium-ion battery technology of his bedrock materials startup is ready to use for 300-mile electric cars at a price lower than the current cheapest lithium-ion phosphate batteries.

Now, if he’s right, this would be revolutionary for this battery company in America. According to Spencer Gore, it’s looking almost certain that Sœhringer will get better than LFP, the cheapest lithium Ion. Sodium-ion Batteries

Future Market Implications

Now, I should point out that today we found out a battery storage project has been manufactured, a massive battery storage project, where those batteries, sodium batteries, can be recharged in 11 minutes, which is crazy.

He says this will open the door to potential sub-$25,000 electric cars like the Tesla Model 2 that never materialize.

He’s not talking about China, by the way. He’s talking about these vehicles being available in America.

Now, when people say never materialize, as far as we know, as far as what Tesla have said, the cheaper, more affordable EV will definitely still come from Tesla.

back in a 2020 earnings call, Elon Musk clarified why Tesla is after 300 miles of range with its EVs.

He said, With regard to passive vehicles, I think the new normal range for it is going to be, just in US EPA terms, around 300 miles.

Adding that the expansion of the Supercharger Network will make much longer ranges not only cost-prohibitive but also unnecessary.

That could be another reason, why Musk is lowering Tesla’s expenditure on the Supercharger Network. Sodium-ion Batteries

Sodium-ion Battery Commercialization

I mean, that said, they’re still apparently installing thousands of EV charges over the next, what, seven months worldwide.

However, the spend is going to go down a bit. Spencer Gore says that in the beginning, Tesla and other EV makers focused on performance electric vehicles for early adopters and sports car enthusiasts, where cost wasn’t an issue.

They were mostly cars in the premium range that used nickel, lithium, and cobalt, basically what you call ternary batteries in China, and other expensive materials, meaning the battery prices were expensive.

But now that the EV market has basically matured, he says, the onus is on the cheaper lithium-ion phosphate battery chemistry that Tesla uses in its most popular cars worldwide.

More than 50% of cars sold by Tesla worldwide now use lithium-ion phosphate batteries. Sodium-ion Batteries

Impact on Electric Vehicle Market

Those are used in the Reel Drive Model Y and the Reel Drive Model 3. Now, Tesla has just eliminated using LFP batteries in the Reel Drive Model Y in America.

But everywhere else, it still uses those battery packs. His bedrock material startup, however, is looking to commercialize what they say is even cheaper batteries than CATL’s LFP, and they weren’t used lithium at all.

The company has developed a cathode that replaces it with sodium and also uses other abundant materials like iron, aluminum, and manganese.

The latest material advancements in sodium and battery materials have also addressed their energy density disadvantage that prevented them from being installed in anything except compact city cars.

Spencer says that batteries with bedrocks sodium cathode can now be only slightly larger than 300-mile range LFP packs to achieve the same capacity, adding any extra weight equivalent to another passenger. Sodium-ion Batteries

So the weight difference will be marginal, he says. Now, it’s worth LFP batteries are a little bit heavier than Ternary batteries that use nickel and cobalt or manganese or some form of those.

While that would be too much for a performance electric car, such as a Supercar or a lightweight vehicle, it is perfectly fine for a mass market electric car that would cost less than $25,000 thanks to these new affordable sodium batteries.

Sodium-ion Battery Tax Credit Eligibility

Bedrock Materials is already producing the cathode components needed and just got $8 million in seed money to scale up their domestic production of batteries in the United States, which would eventually help make cars with its sodium mine cells eligible for the federal tax credit subsidy, meaning they’d be even cheaper again, or at least for manufacturers to use them.

Could new affordable EVs in America use sodium-bound batteries? I think they will. Will it happen next year? No.

Could it happen in a few years time? It absolutely could. Keep in mind, sodium-owned batteries do have some other advantages over lithium batteries.

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