The automotive mobility industry is in a pivotal phase where research is no longer characterized by radical breakthroughs but rather by constant evolution.
A key topic in this discussion is always the dilemma between the range and cost of batteries for electric vehicles
Currently, lithium-ion batteries can offer the highest energy density but at a high price. A ton of lithium costs more than 70,000 euros and represents a significant portion of battery costs.
Sodium batteries, on the other hand, are less energy-dense but the raw material is significantly cheaper – less than one twentieth of the price of lithium.
What does this mean for the development of our vehicles?
We could choose to develop a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery to achieve the maximum range. Alternatively, we could install a 50 kWh sodium battery in the same space to reduce costs. Ultimately, the choice depends heavily on where and how the vehicle is used.
But here lies the challenge 👇🏻
Currently, we don’t know exactly how we want to drive in the future, as we have not yet gained enough experience with different usage scenarios. This uncertainty poses a significant hurdle in the development of battery technologies and underscores the need for further research and experimentation.
It is undeniable that battery electric vehicles have the potential to become the new standard and surpass internal combustion engines.
However, the question is how we can best navigate this transition. Is range or price the key factor? And how can the industry effectively collaborate to find the best solutions?