has started construction on its sodium-ion battery facility in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, with a total investment of RMB 10 billion and a planned annual capacity of 30 GWh.

BYD (OTCMKTS: BYDDY) has broken ground on a sodium-ion battery production facility in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province in eastern China, in what was the first such battery project announced for the new energy vehicle (NEV) maker.

The Xuzhou government announced the development in a WeChat post today, saying a groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 4.

The project, located in the Xuzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, will involve a total investment of RMB 10 billion ($1.4 billion) and will mainly produce sodium-ion battery cells and battery packs, with a planned annual capacity of 30 GWh.

The article does not provide additional information about the battery facility.

On June 8, 2023, Huaihai Holding Group said it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with BYD's battery unit FinDreams at BYD's Shenzhen headquarters.

The two companies will establish a joint venture to build a sodium-ion battery production base in Xuzhou and work together to create the world's largest supplier of sodium battery systems for microcars, according to a press release by Huaihai in June.

Established in 1976, Huaihai's business covers small vehicles, electric vehicles, parts and components, and financial services. The company said in June that it saw the economic and social value of sodium batteries and became involved in the industry years ago.

Huaihai and FinDreams will explore the demand for micro-vehicle batteries across the country and globally, with Xuzhou as the hub, the company said in June.

In November 2022, rumors surfaced that BYD's sodium-ion batteries would be mass-produced in 2023, and that the first vehicle powered by the batteries would be the Seagull. None of these rumors have been confirmed, however.

Sodium-ion batteries are cheaper, but they also have lower energy density, and in the eyes of some analysts, they are unlikely to replace lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium-ion batteries are suitable for sectors that do not require high energy density but are cost-sensitive, and will mainly be used in the energy storage sector and two-wheelers, Guosen Securities analyst Tang Xuxia's team said in a July 2021 research note.

($1 = RMB 7.1682)

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