UPDATED. 2024-07-17 07:31 (수)
EcoPro BM in talks to supply sodium-ion battery cathode 
EcoPro BM in talks to supply sodium-ion battery cathode 
  • Lee Min-Jo
  • 승인 2024.06.21 07:28
  • 댓글 0
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Image: TheElec
Image: TheElec

EcoPro BM was developing a sodium-ion cathode for batteries and was in talks with car makers for potential supply deals.

Dongwook Lee, director of the Future Materials Division at EcoPro BM, told TheElec during Interbattery Europe 2024 being held in Munich that the company was developing various battery cathodes, with one of them being a lithium-free, sodium-ion battery cathode.

China is leading the development of sodium-ion cathode but EcoPro BM has been developing related technologies since two years ago as to not fall behind, Lee said, much like the situation with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode. China is the world leader in LFP batteries.

Lee claimed that EcoPro BM’s sodium-ion cathode was superior to its competitors in China, offering better performance and longer lifespan.

Sodium batteries use sodium instead of lithium as their main ingredient. Its advantage is that it is even more price competitive than LFP batteries, which is the cheapest among lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium reserve is a thousand times that of lithium so it can significantly drive down cost.

They can also maintain their performance at below 20 degrees Celsius; unlike lithium which sees a significant drop in travel per charge distance.

Lee said as there are not South Korean battery makers that produce sodium-ion batteries, EcoPro BM has no company to supply its cathode.

However, it was in talks with global carmakers since early in the year and is expecting supply deals soon, the director said.

Sodium-ion cathode is expected to be used for first in batteries for energy storage systems, he said. Within a year or two, their performance is expected to be level to that of LFP batteries, Lee also said.

Sodium-ion batteries were commercialized in 2021 by Chinese battery makers CATL and BYD. Analyst firm QY Research expected the sodium-ion battery market to grow 118% per year starting from 2024 to be worth US$40.6 billion in 2030.

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