In a blogpost in early December last year, I wrote about the potential future use of salt batteries in electric vehicles and stationary energy storage. I also provided estimates on potential future salt use in batteries: https://saltmarketinfo.com/salt-based-batteries-5/
Battery Storage Capacity in EV’s and Stationary Energy Storage is Growing Faster Than Expected
A few days ago, I listened to a webinar by the energy transition consultancy RhoMotion https://rhomotion.com/evbl-webinar-240323-recording. I realize that my December forecast may have been too conservative, and that overall battery storage capacity as well as the use of salt batteries in electric vehicles has progressed faster than expected.
Rho Motion is showing the overall battery storage capacity to reach the Terra-Watt-Hour already in 2023, and current annual growth rates to be in the order of 50%. If growth continues at a similar pace, battery capacity would be around 2.2 TWh in 2025. Earlier this year, McKinsey corrected its expectations for battery storage capacity by 2030 to reach 4.7 TWh by 2030. They project that 4.3 TWh of this capacity will be used in electric vehicles.
Large Scale Use of Salt Batteries is Progressing Much Faster Than Expected
Moreover, it is not only CATL which is close to commercializing the salt battery in electric vehicles, but a number of battery producers have made announcements to bring odium ion batteries on the market in 2023:
Natron Energy has started mass production, and announced a letter of intent by Vast -Solar to purchase 13,500 sodium ion batteries for their Mount Isa solar project: https://natron.energy/wp-content/uploads/Natron_Vast-Solar-press-release_FINAL_logos.pdf
Hina Battery and Sehol, a joint venture between JAC and Volkswagen Anhui, have jointly built a sodium-ion battery test vehicle based on the Sehol EX10 small electric car, and at the end of 2022, Hina Battery started its first GWh-scale sodium-ion battery production line https://www.electrive.com/2023/02/23/hina-launches-sodium-ion-battery-tests-in-vehicles.
End of 2022 battery producer, Svolt Energy completed development of 1st-gen sodium-ion battery with energy density of 110 Wh/kg, and expects to complete the development of sodium-ion batteries with an energy density of 160 Wh/kg and cycle life of more than 2,000 in the fourth quarter of 2023 https://cnevpost.com/2022/12/22/svolt-energy-completes-development-of-1st-gen-sodium-ion-battery/.
The Swedish start-up Altris, announced that it will begin producing the ground-breaking cathode material Fennac in Sandviken, Sweden in 2023, enabling 1GWh of sustainable sodium-ion batteries to enter the market each year https://www.altris.se/scaling-up-production-of-fennac-in-2022/.
End of 2022, Chinese producer Natrium, started mass production of sodium ion battery cathodes http://natriumenergy.cn/NewsDetail/3716610.html.
The Chinese battery producers Li-Fun, HiNa-Battery, and Farasis are also reported to start mass production of sodium ion batteries in 2023: https://pushevs.com/2022/05/04/li-fun-technology-will-mass-produce-sodium-ion-batteries-in-2023/, https://www.electrive.net/2023/02/23/chinesischer-hersteller-setzt-erstmals-natrium-ionen-zellen-im-e-auto-ein/
UK battery producer Faradion announced the installation of its sodium ion battery in Australia end of 2022 https://faradion.co.uk/first-faradion-battery-installed-in-australia/
Updated Consumption Forecast For Salt in Salt Batteries
With all these recent developments, RhoMotion expects a rapid adoption of sodium ion batteries in electrical vehicles in the lower performance segment of < 43 kWh pack size. This sector currently represents about 22% of the EV market, and about 15% of the EV battery capacity. Assuming a similar breakdown of EV types by 2030, and a share of 30% for sodium ion batteries, leads to a sodium ion battery capacity estimate of about 200 GWh by 2030. Also, for the stationary energy storage, faster growth and faster adoption of sodium ion batteries can be expected. Based on this updated information, it appears realistic to expect salt consumption in sodium ion batteries to be around 300 thousand metric tons by 2030 (250 ktpa in EV batteries, and 50 ktpa for stationary energy storage).