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Revolutionary new technology set to disrupt China's hold over EV battery production: 'An important milestone'

This innovation comes from leading battery manufacturer Northvolt.

This innovation comes from leading battery manufacturer Northvolt.

Photo Credit: Northvolt

A new kind of battery is poised to shake up the electric vehicle world.

Sodium-ion batteries could be a cheaper, more sustainable alternative to the lithium-ion batteries that currently power most electric cars. Best of all, the materials needed to make sodium-ion batteries are abundant across the globe. This innovation could loosen China's hold over the battery supply chain that the EV revolution relies on.

This innovation comes from leading battery manufacturer Northvolt, which recently announced it is manufacturing a sodium-ion battery in Quebec that can compete with conventional chemistries.

That battery is safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than the nickel manganese cobalt batteries dominating the market. Plus, it sidesteps materials constrained by availability or geography, like lithium and graphite.

"The world has put high hopes on sodium-ion, and I'm very pleased to say that we've developed a technology that will enable its widespread deployment to accelerate the energy transition," Northvolt CEO and co-founder Peter Carlsson said in a Nov. 21 press release. "It's an important milestone for Northvolt's market proposition, but battery technology like this is also crucial to reach global sustainability goals, by making electrification more cost-efficient, sustainable and accessible worldwide."

Northvolt plans to commercialize the technology, bringing affordable green energy storage to more corners of the world. The batteries could accelerate clean electricity and transport it far beyond China.

Although sodium ion lacks the punch to challenge lithium-ion in long-range EVs, Northvolt is also developing lithium metal batteries for high-performance vehicles.

Rumors suggest Chinese automaker BYD will soon add sodium-ion batteries to its lineup, too. For short-range urban mobility, the budget-friendly chemistry makes perfect sense. And as innovation continues, sodium ion's capabilities are sure to grow.

Between Northvolt's machinery and BYD's manufacturing might, this technology has traction. Affordable and available energy storage could encourage more drivers to make the switch to EVs and expedite the global transition from gas guzzlers to clean and thrifty electric mobility.

"The potential of sodium-ion in this market alone will make a tremendous impact in the drive towards global electrification," Carlsson concluded.

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