Development of China’s Na-Ion Battery Industry Accelerates
2023-07-06 9:30

Recently, there have been reports of many activities that signal an acceleration in the development China’s Na-ion battery industry. The following is a summary of these events.

BYD Signs Agreement to Build a Base for Manufacturing Na-Ion Batteries in Xuzhou

Huaihai Group said on June 8, it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with BYD’s FinDreams Battery. The signing ceremony was held in BYD’s headquarters in Shenzhen. According to the agreement, both parties will jointly set up a base for manufacturing Na-ion batteries in Xuzhou’s economic development zone (China’s Jiangsu Province). Together, they seek to create the world’s largest supplier for Na-ion battery systems equipped in microcars.

Formerly named “Jiangsu Huaihai Vehicle Group,” Huaihai Group was established in 1990 and develops a wide range of hardware technologies that encompass NEVs, clean energy, farming equipment and gardening tools. It is also involved in international trade and the financial sector.

As a massive conglomerate, Huaihai Group has 20 subsidiaries operating in 114 countries and regions. There are three major brands under the conglomerate: Huaihai New Energy, Hongan Automobile, and Zongshen Vehicle Industry. In terms of manufacturing capacity, Huaihai Group has established seven main bases across China, including the ones in Xuzhou and Chongqing. It also possesses overseas manufacturing bases that are located in Pakistan, India, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, etc.

Huaihai Group has been investing in the field of Na-ion batteries for some time. In October 2021, Huaihai Group participated a pre-A round financing for Natrium Energy. The amount that was raised exceeded RMB 100 million. Then, in October 2022, Huaihai Group led an A round financing for Natrium Energy that also reached several hundreds of millions of yuan. Other participants in the A-round financing included Anfeng Venture Capital.

Established in 2018, Natrium Energy specializes in the development, manufacturing, and sales of Na-ion battery systems for energy storage applications. Its main offerings include iron-based ternary precursors, ternary cathode materials based on sodium ferrate, electrolytes for Na-ion batteries, and Na-ion batteries.

Currently, Natrium Energy is able to provide solutions that integrate Na-ion battery cells and a BMS. The energy density of its Na-ion battery cells has reached 130-160Wh/kg. Furthermore, its Na-ion battery cells can operate in temperatures as high as 55 degrees Celsius and as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. Their cycle life has also exceeded 5,000 charging and discharging cycles.

In terms of production capacity, Natrium Energy has also set up demonstration production line that has a ton-level production capacity for cathode materials. The company plans to build production lines for cathode materials and electrolytes in multiple phases over the next three to five years, aiming for a production capacity of 80,000 tons per year.

BYD has also been investing in the development of Na-ion NEV power batteries. There have been reports stating that BYD will begin mass producing Na-ion batteries and installing them in its vehicles within the second half of 2023. Among BYD’s vehicles, the battery-electric subcompact hatchback “Seagull” is reported to be the first to adopt the Na-ion battery technology.

Vision Group’s Na-Ion Battery Subsidiary Has Completed Angel Round Financing and Netted Tens of Millions of Yuan

Recently, Paragonage Technology has raised tens of millions of yuan from an angel round financing. According the publicly available information, investors that participated the angel round included Capchem, GEM, Senior Technology Material, SZZT Electronics, and J.S. Corrugating Machinery. Paragonage Technology will use the proceeds from the angel round mainly for the development of Na-ion batteries and supporting its operation.

Established in October 2022, Paragonage Technology was established by a startup led by Dr. Hu Mingxiang and Vision Group. As one of the pioneers in China’s Na-ion battery industry, Paragonage Technology has an all-encompassing line-up of Na-ion battery products. The company’s solutions can be adopted for light vehicles, uninterruptible power supply, mobile network base stations, and energy storage equipment.

Presently, Panagonage Technology operates a R&D center in Shenzhen. The center has laboratories for developing and testing battery cells (including button cells), electrolytes, and modules. Furthermore, the company has completed the development of a Na-ion battery system and has its production line qualified. Earlier this year, the first generation of its material system for Na-ion batteries (including electrode materials and electrolyte) and manufacturing technology completed an internal evaluation. The company has also just finished the small-scale trial production. The next step will be to proceed with pilot production.

Paragonage Technology said it has signed strategic cooperation agreements with the major material suppliers in the upstream of the industry chain. Furthermore, other companies and institutions have expressed interest in collaborating with Paragonage Technology. These include well-known manufacturers for motorcycles and scooters, telecom companies, and academic institutions. At the same time, Paragonage Technology is leveraging the resources of its shareholders such as Vision Group and SZZT Electronics to develop Na-ion batteries for uninterruptible power supply, networking equipment, etc.

In the aspect of production, Paragonage Technology is currently setting up its pilot production line that is designed to have a production capacity of 0.1GWh per year. The pilot production line is expected to enter operation before the end of 2023 and will mainly output cylindrical and prismatic Na-ion batteries that feature an aluminum casing. As for the mass production plan, the company intends to set up 5GWh per year for the first phase.

This article is a translation of a Chinese article posted by TrendForce. It contains information that is either sourced from other news outlets or accessible in the public domain. Some Chinese names are transcribed into English using Hanyu Pinyin.

Tags:Na-ion battery