The two models feature sodium-ion batteries from Farasis Energy and Hina Battery, marking a step closer to large-scale use of the new, lower-cost batteries.

(Image credit: Farasis Energy)

Two electric vehicle (EV) models powered by sodium-ion batteries have rolled off the production line in China, signaling that the new, lower-cost batteries are closer to being used on a large scale.

A model powered by sodium-ion batteries built by Farasis Energy in partnership with JMEV, an EV brand owned by Jiangling Motors Group, rolled off the assembly line on December 28, according to the battery maker.

The model, based on JMEV's EV3, has a range of 251 km and is the first all-electric A00-class model powered by sodium-ion batteries to be built by Farasis Energy in collaboration with JMEV.

The JMEV EV3 is a compact, all-electric vehicle with a CLTC range of 301 km and a battery pack capacity of 31.15 kWh for its two lithium-ion battery versions. The starting prices for these two versions are RMB 62,800 ($8,840) and RMB 66,800, respectively.

The model's sodium battery version starts at RMB 58,800, with a battery pack capacity of 21.4 kWh and a CLTC range of 251 km, according to its specification sheet.

Farasis Energy's sodium-ion batteries currently in production have energy densities in the range of 140-160 Wh/kg, and the battery cells have passed tests including pin-prick, overcharging, and extrusion, according to the company.

Farasis Energy will launch the second generation of sodium-ion batteries in 2024 with an energy density of 160-180 Wh/kg, it said.

By 2026, the next generation of sodium-ion battery products will have an energy density of 180-200 Wh/kg.

On December 27, battery maker Hina Battery announced that a model powered by sodium-ion batteries, which it jointly built with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp (JAC), rolled off the production line.

The model is a new variant of the Yiwei 3, the first model under JAC's new Yiwei brand, and utilizes Hina Battery's sodium-ion cylindrical cells.

(Image credit: Hina Battery)

Volume deliveries of the sodium-ion battery-equipped Yiwei model are expected to begin in January 2024, according to Hina Battery.

On February 23, Hina Battery unveiled three sodium-ion battery cell products and announced that it had entered into a partnership with JAC.

Hina Battery and Sehol -- a joint venture brand between JAC and Volkswagen Anhui -- would jointly build a test vehicle with sodium-ion batteries based on the latter's Sehol E10X model, according to a statement in February.

The test vehicle's battery pack has a capacity of 25 kWh and an energy density of 120 Wh/kg. The model has a range of 252 km and supports 3C to 4C fast charging. The battery pack uses cells with an energy density of 140 Wh/kg.

JAC launched its new brand Yiwei (钇为 for in Chinese) on April 12 and made the brand's first model, the Yiwei 3, available on June 16.

According to information released yesterday by Hina Battery, the two are working together to build a production vehicle powered by sodium-ion batteries based on the Yiwei 3.

($1 = RMB 7.1012)

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