Sodium ion battery strikes EV partnership

May 12, 2016

Low-cost batteries suitable for road-transport applications could be available by 2025.

That is the goal of a new partnership between sodium-ion technology pioneer Faradion and UK-based cell developer and manufacturer AGM Batteries – backed with £400,000 of new Innovate UK funding.

A prototype of Faradion’s sodium ion battery
A prototype of Faradion’s sodium ion battery

Unlike the typical lithium-ion battery found in the current generation of electric vehicles, sodium is abundant, making such batteries – if commercialised – an estimated 30% cheaper.

Faradion and AGM will develop its sodium-ion battery technology to meet vehicle manufacturer specifications, delivering a working prototype for EVs by 2018. This will then be tested by a number of manufacturers.

Part of the challenge to commercialise the technology is the requirement to modify the existing active materials at the cathode and anode to achieve current EV specs.

Faradion’s CEO, Francis Massin, said: “This project will help the automotive industry to develop a more stable, sustainable and cost-effective solution to electric vehicle power than is currently available.”

Editor’s comment: Widespread uptake of electric vehicles depends upon a range of factors such as lifespan and range, but the cost point is always key. Currently, battery systems represent a large chunk of the cost of EVs, alternative battery chemistries could change that.

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