Varta Secures EUR 7.5m for Sodium-Ion Battery Research

A project for sodium-ion battery research and development, initiated and coordinated by German batteries manufacturer Varta AG (ETR:VAR1), has obtained EUR 7.5 million (USD 8m) in funding from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education.

Federal Support for Sodium-ion Battery Research

The project’s official approval came with the handover of the funding decision by Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger last Thursday, Varta announced. The initiative, called ENTISE (Development of Sodium Ion Technology for Industrially Scalable Energy Storage), will start on June 1 and complete by mid-2027.

Consortium Involvement and Goals

It involves a consortium of 15 companies and universities that seek to develop high-performance, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly cell chemistry for sodium-ion batteries. The project aims to deliver a small series of round cells which will enable evaluation in applications such as Electric Vehicles and stationary storage systems.

Varta’s CTO Rainer Hald stated, “In order to further advance the future of decentralized energy storage and use, other innovative and powerful storage technologies are needed in addition to Lithium-ion technology. In addition to existing technologies, sodium-ion batteries can make an important, sustainable contribution to the decarbonisation and electrification of many areas to actively shape the energy and mobility transition.”

Project Timeline and Objectives

The ENTISE project aims to address the pressing need for alternative energy storage solutions. Notably, sodium-ion batteries are seen as a promising alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. They might pave the way for sustainable energy storage, fostering both environmental and economic benefits.

Research and development efforts will focus on achieving high energy density, durable cycle life, and low material costs. Sodium-ion technology offers advantages such as abundant raw materials, lower costs, and a reduced environmental footprint compared to Lithium-ion technology.

Evaluation and Applications

By mid-2027, the development of these sodium-ion batteries will culminate in a small series of round cells. These cells will be tested and evaluated in various applications. Possible uses include Electric Vehicles and stationary storage systems. This step is crucial to ensure the real-world applicability and scalability of sodium-ion batteries.

Impact and Future Prospects

The objectives of the ENTISE project also include creating new job opportunities and fostering an innovative environment within the energy storage sector. High-performance sodium-ion batteries could revolutionize energy storage, offering a sustainable, cost-effective solution for multiple industries.

In summary, the EUR 7.5 million funding secured by Varta AG underscores the significance of Sodium-ion Battery development. This research initiative promises to deliver innovative, sustainable energy storage solutions, contributing to the broader goals of decarbonization and electrification.

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