The application prospect of sodium battery in electric two-wheeler

The application prospect of sodium battery in electric two-wheeler
After sodium batteries enter the field of two-wheeler, more people believe that sodium batteries will replace lead-acid batteries and become one of the mainstream batteries for electric vehicles. However, if sodium batteries are to become popular, they still need to solve problems.
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    After years of adjustment, major electric motorcycle manufacturers in China have completed independent research and development from passive adaptation to standards to active development under the standardized framework system. Among them, the iterative upgrading and evolution of energy technology has become the core of driving the upper limit of category performance and user experience.

    According to the situation, many brands have focused on the research and development of sodium ion batteries and related vehicle series products. So, in the highly competitive year 2024, will sodium-ion batteries really have a chance to develop? This article focuses on the comparison with other batteries, the advantages and the analysis of future developments.

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    Lithium batteries - difficult to balance their cost and performance

    Lithium batteries themselves have good safety performance, but two-wheeled vehicles are limited by the characteristics of the product itself and cannot provide a good operating environment like four-wheeled passenger cars.

    The scattered nature of the industry itself and the widespread consumption habits of consumers jointly amplify the safety problems and thermal runaway hazards of lithium batteries.

    Lithium-ion batteries - difficult to balance their cost and performance

    In addition, the price of lithium batteries also puts pressure on top 10 electric scooter manufacturers on the cost side. Let’s first look at the situation of lead-acid and lithium batteries, which currently occupy the mainstream of the market.

    The market mainstream lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries

    Although lead-acid batteries have low energy density and are relatively bulky, they are safe and stable. At the same time, it is cheap, so it dominates the field of electric vehicles.

    Although lithium batteries have a high energy density, are light and fast, they are not safe. At the same time, the price is relatively expensive, and it has not been fully developed.

    From the perspective of mainstream long-range series models, lead-acid batteries with higher cost performance are still the first choice of major brands, and it is expected that this technical route will not change much in 2024.

    It can be seen that although lead-acid batteries may have a slight decline in market share under the impact of lithium battery cost reduction, they will still maintain more than half of the industry share.

    Although the industry is tacitly aware, sodium batteries are indeed an alternative or complementary solution that the electric travel industry is actively seeking in the context of lithium batteries continuing to be at a high level. However, with the arrival of the two major advantages of lithium battery in 2024, the two advantages of sodium battery have been significantly weakened.

    The market mainstream lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries

    First of all, the cost of lithium batteries has dropped significantly. Although the price of the latest battery-grade lithium carbonate has rebounded slightly from the lowest point in February.

    It is mainly due to the short-term rise led by the demand for new energy vehicles, such as crazy price reduction promotions and energy storage, and the industry is generally optimistic about the future price stability in the range of 8-110,000 RMB/ton, which will also greatly strengthen the cost advantage of lithium batteries.

    Secondly, category safety concerns caused by inferior lithium batteries have gradually entered the stage of high-quality development with increased supervision. It is expected that in the future, in the lithium battery market dominated by regular brands, related safety accidents will be greatly reduced.

    Judging from the current situation, although top 10 electric motorcycle manufacturers have successively launched products equipped with sodium ion batteries, first of all, the product line is relatively short, accounting for a negligible proportion of the overall model, and secondly, in terms of promotion, it is far from being able to expand the range track. This will also intuitively lead to the user’s inability to quickly and universally perceive the advantages of sodium electricity.

    Advantages of sodium batteries in an ideal state

    Sodium batteries have many advantages and are currently the most ideal electric motorcycle batteries. At present, there are two main types of electric vehicle batteries, namely lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries, of which lead-acid batteries account for the highest proportion, which can reach about 70%, and the proportion of lithium batteries reaches about 30%.

    Advantages of sodium batteries in an ideal state

    Sodium batteries have many advantages, which can be said to include the characteristics of lead-acid batteries being safe and stable, and the advantages of lithium batteries being light and fast. It mainly includes the following advantages:

    • High energy density: Although it is not as good as ternary lithium batteries, it is much higher than lead-acid batteries.
    • Long service life: The number of charge and discharge cycles can reach 4000 times, which is 10 times that of lead-acid batteries.
    • Low temperature influence: It can be used normally even in an environment of -20 degrees Celsius.
    • Support fast charging: It can be charged to 80% in 10 minutes, and it can be fully charged in one meal.
    • Can be discharged to 0 volts: never worry about battery loss again.
    • Cheap price: low cost of raw materials for sodium ion manufacturing.

    The difficult problem of large-scale popularization

    Sodium batteries have many advantages, but to replace lead-acid batteries, there are still problems to be solved.

    • Unify production standards

    Including charging interface, battery size, battery voltage, battery capacity, etc., so as not to affect the after-sales service of the battery at that time.

    The difficult problem of large-scale popularization

    • Reduce price of sodium batteries

    Although sodium batteries have many advantages, the price of sodium batteries currently sold is only slightly lower than that of lithium batteries, and much higher than lead-acid batteries. The main reason is that sodium batteries have not yet been mass-produced, and the production cost is still relatively high.

    If sodium batteries are to replace lead-acid batteries, they must first reduce the price so that they can be more competitive. And so the cheap electric motorcycle will be realized. It’s just that there are many advantages, but the price is still not popular. After all, people still like cost-effective products.

    • Stand the test of time

    He has just entered the field of two-wheeled electric vehicles, although there are many advantages. At present his shortcomings have not been discovered, which will take the test of time. In the process of application, see if the sodium battery really has no shortcomings, or its shortcomings are negligible, so that it may replace the lead-acid battery.

    Conclusion

    In fact, although sodium electricity has certain advantages in some properties, it is difficult to get universal promotion and recognition in the short term compared to lead-acid and lithium batteries.

    This will also lead to the inability of sodium electricity to achieve scale in the industry, and thus fail to form the expected cost advantage. Therefore, judging from the current situation, sodium electricity has a long way to go if it wants to become the mainstream of the market.

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