The company responsible for supplying electric vehicle (EV) batteries to the likes of Tesla, Geely and SAIC Motor has announced Chery will be the first automaker to use its new sodium-ion technology in EVs.
While official details are scarce at the moment, Car News China reports mass production for the sodium-ion battery is scheduled to go ahead this year.
The news comes as Chery announces its new brand iCar, which revealed its production iCar 03 and the iCar GT concept at this week’s Shanghai motor show. It also revealed a new EV called the Chery eQ7.
It’s worth noting BYD is also working on sodium-ion battery technology, with mass production also expected to start in 2023.
Chery and CATL have also announced the creation of ENER-Q, a joint-venture that will develop batteries for a wider range of applications.
CATL revealed its first generation sodium-ion batteries in 2021, initially with the intent of only using the technology in electric scooters and the like.
As lithium-ion batteries increased in price, the Chinese battery maker made the decision in 2022 to develop its sodium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
Its next-generation sodium-ion battery can exceed an energy density of 200Wh/kg and offers a cheaper alternative to manufacturing lithium-ion batteries with better performance in lower temperatures.
Chinese company CATL is a major supplier, and also works with Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Hyundai, Honda and BMW.
Earlier this year Ford announced that together with CATL it will build a local battery production facility in Michigan.
CATL has also built a 70GWh factory only 5km away from Tesla’s Shanghai factory.
Chery currently only offers the Omoda 5 locally, which uses a four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. However, an electric version of the Omoda 5 is due here in the first half of 2024.