Lithium-ion is one of the most widely used rechargeable battery which is commonly used for smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. This type of battery is mostly used for portable electronics and even in electric car batteries. It is the most common form of rechargeable batteries that has grown in popularity over the years and has reached a potential where it can power electric vehicles and military tanks as well. However, due to its increasing usage all over the world, analysts and researchers are predicting its scarcity by the year 2022 and this is scary for the technology world.
Having said that, the first-generation alternative to Lithium-ion batteries is here- Sodium batteries.
Yes, you read that right! The first-generation Sodium batteries are here and it is said to have the potential to replace Lithium batteries, forever. Nickel, Cobalt, and Lithium are elements that you must have read about in your school textbooks, and well, their prices are soaring high in the market at this point due to high demand for making Lithium-ion batteries for multiple purposes including the boom in Electric Vehicle market across the globe.
Coming back to Sodium batteries, the invention was made by CATL, a Chinese technology company that specializes in manufacturing batteries for Electric Vehicles for companies including Volkswagen, BMW, Tesla, and Toyota, as mentioned in a report by Sirelonmusk. The company manufactures Lithium-ion batteries on large scale for these companies and thus, their expertise made them invent a cheaper, more abundant material to replace Lithium in batteries.
You must be hearing about Electric Vehicles taking over the automotive industry across the globe, with governments encouraging the manufacturing and use of Electric cars over fuel-based cars to save the environment and obviously money in some form. Did you know? If you purchase electric cars, you could save the environment in more ways than you can imagine.
Furthermore, CATL claims that these new Sodium batteries promise up to 80 percent charge in just 15 minutes with a good energy density and thermal stability, good enough to function in extreme temperatures which makes it better than Lithium-ion batteries, giving it a huge advantage except for cost.
Although the working principle of Sodium batteries is similar to Lithium-ion batteries, its energy density of 16 Wh/kg is comparatively less than 200-250 Wh/kg in Li-ion batteries. But, don’t you forget that this is just the first generation of Sodium batteries, a little improvement with the second generation could actually open up a new market for sodium-based batteries that will end up replacing the decades-old Lithium batteries.