West developing EV batteries to fight China’s dominance

Companies are looking to build batteries using sodium and sulphur instead of lithium, cobalt and nickel

Net Hero Podcast

Electric vehicle (EV) battery makers in Europe and the US are looking to ramp up production with cheaper materials.

This is to regain dominance in the market, after China has taken a lead on the West in recent years.

The companies are looking to build batteries using sodium and sulphur instead of lithium, cobalt and nickel, which have soared in price since the Ukraine War.

EVs could shift from running on lithium-ion batteries to sodium-ion or lithium-sulphur to reflect the change in the market.

Battery makers claim that changing the materials could make the cells up to two-thirds cheaper than today’s rate.

Start-ups including Thelon in Germany, Faradion in the UK and Lyten in the US are all working on solutions that involve the new materials.

The issue currently being found is that sodium doesn’t store as much energy as lithium and the sulphur cells have the potential corrode quicker.

Faradion Chief Executive James Quinn said: “We’re still dependent on a material supply chain from China. If you look at the global geopolitical implications of that, it’s a challenge for energy security, economic security and national security.”

These companies have received grants and funding from their governments to work on these innovations.