Global demand for sodium-ion batteries is expected to grow to just under 70 GWh in 2033, compared to 10 GWh in 2025. According to IDTechEx, a UK-based market research company, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 27%.
As global sodium-ion battery commercialization efforts increase, IDTechEx predicts that by 2025 approximately 10 GWh of sodium-ion batteries will be installed as significant production capacity comes online and existing lithium-ion lines are converted to sodium-ion production.
At a CAGR of 27 percent, sodium ion is forecast to grow to just under 70 GWh in 2033, says a British market research company. “There may be potential for faster than anticipated growth when the technology is reliable, valid, bankable and available,” he added.
Wood Mackenzie’s earlier forecast is more conservative. Sodium-ion batteries are expected to replace some of the share of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in passenger electric vehicles and energy storage, reaching 20 GWh by 2030 in a baseline scenario, according to a US-based Scottish data company.
Currently, production is mainly limited to pilot plants, and a few smaller factories are starting up. However, IDTechEx calculates that “only the publicly announced capacities of the various raw material manufacturers will be well over 100 GWh in the next three years.”
IDTechEx said in its latest report that it has identified about 15 companies developing their own Na-ion battery technologies. It has also analyzed patents and found that China is once again taking the lead.
For example, battery industry heavyweight CATL introduced its first generation sodium-ion battery in 2021, with an energy density of 160 Wh/kg and promised to increase to 200 Wh/kg. Earlier this year, it confirmed that China’s Chery will become the first automaker to use its sodium-ion battery technology.
HiNa Battery, which was spun off from the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2017, was the world’s first company to launch a gigawatt-hour sodium-ion battery production line last year. It also revealed plans to expand capacity to 5 GWh.
Last week, BYD’s subsidiary FinDreams said it had found a partner in Huaihai Holding Group, which will start production of sodium-ion batteries in the Xuzhou Economic and Technology Development Zone in Jiangsu Province. In a press release, the companies said that the joint venture will become the world’s largest supplier of sodium-ion batteries for mini and micro vehicles.
So far, sodium-ion batteries have been mainly used in electric two-wheeled vehicles and stationary energy storage, because their energy density is lower than lithium-ion batteries. The sodium ion is three times heavier than the lithium ion and has a lower redox potential, resulting in at least a 30% lower energy density.
Sodium-ion batteries are said to be 20-40 percent cheaper, but the challenge is measuring the technology. Therefore, a significant saving compared to lithium-ion batteries is unlikely, at least initially.
According to the IDTechEx study, the average cell cost of Na-ion batteries is $87/kWh considering different chemistries. By the end of the decade, production costs for Na-ion battery cells, which use mainly iron and manganese, will likely bottom out at around $40/kWh, which would be around $50/kWh at the packaging level, the company calculates.