Stellantis, the automotive giant behind brands such as Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Peugeot, and Fiat, has recently announced a strategic partnership with French battery manufacturer Tiamat to produce sodium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Stellantis and Tiamat’s venture could significantly reduce the cost of EVs and enhance their safety, potentially transforming the electric car industry.
A Game-Changer for EV Affordability
The deal with Tiamat, a spin-off of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, is set to secure a supply of next-generation sodium-ion battery technology for Stellantis. These batteries are touted to cost one-third less to produce than traditional lithium-ion cells, which could be the key to achieving price parity between EVs and their internal combustion engine counterparts.
Advantages of Sodium-Ion Technology
Sodium-ion batteries offer several advantages over their lithium-ion counterparts. They are faster to charge and considered much safer, with a significantly reduced risk of thermal runaway. Moreover, they do not rely on materials like lithium, cobalt, or nickel, which are often sourced from regions with geopolitical tensions or environmental concerns. The sodium required for these batteries is abundant and can be cheaply produced within Europe, reducing dependency on imports.
Despite their benefits, sodium-ion batteries currently have a lower energy density and, based on early prototypes, a shorter usable lifespan compared to lithium-ion batteries. However, advancements are expected to address these issues soon. Stellantis and Tiamat’s collaboration will also see the construction of a new battery factory in France, initially producing batteries for power tools and energy storage devices, with a transition to EV batteries planned for the future.The EV batteries developed through this partnership are expected to have a power density of 2-5kW per kilogram and retain up to 80 percent of their charge after 5,000 charge cycles. Stellantis is also working on co-developing a new battery that could halve the weight of EV batteries, although details on this technology remain under wraps.
Stellantis’s investment in sodium-ion battery technology, in partnership with Tiamat, represents a significant step towards a more sustainable and cost-effective future for the electric vehicle industry. By leveraging the benefits of sodium-ion batteries, Stellantis is positioning itself as a leader in the transition to cleaner transportation solutions.