Two-wheeled vehicle battery swapping may be the most competitive application market for sodium batteries

October 30, 2023

Entering 2023, new developments in the application of sodium batteries continue to come. For example, in the two-wheeled vehicle field, Hua Naxin can complete the order of 100 sodium battery packs for electric two-wheeled vehicles and deliver them to Kodak New Energy; in the four-wheeled vehicle field, Chery and Jiangling Motors' Two models equipped with sodium-ion batteries were selected into the 372 batch of new car announcements. Zhongke Hainan and Jianghuai Group launched the Sihao EX10 Huaxianzi A00-class new energy passenger car equipped with sodium batteries; in the field of energy storage, BYD, Penghui Energy, The sodium battery demonstration project supported by Cube New Energy and other companies has been launched...


However, it is difficult for the above three major application fields to be mass-produced in a short period of time. Instead, the two-wheeled vehicle battery swap field may be the "most competitive" application market for sodium batteries.


The scale of the two-wheeler battery swap market reaches 10 billion yuan

In recent years, my country's express delivery and food delivery industries have developed rapidly, resulting in a huge demand for two-wheeled electric vehicles, and the supporting "power swap" industry has also emerged. Affected by favorable policies, the industry has continued to grow steadily. Data from Qidian Research Institute (SPIR) shows that the demand for power swap cabinets in China's two-wheeled vehicle power swap market in 2021 will be 540,000, and the power swap market size will be approximately 18.06 billion yuan.


With the growth of the battery-swapping user group and the increase in the penetration rate of battery-swapping, the demand for the laying of battery-swapping cabinets in the electric two-wheeled vehicle battery-swapping market has increased simultaneously. SPIR Research Institute (SPIR) predicts that the demand for two-wheeled battery-swapping cabinets in 2023 will be as high as approximately 2.63 million units, and by 2025, this number will increase to 8.7 million units. At the same time, Qidian Research believes that under the background of the unified standard of the "New National Standard", there is huge room for development of the two-wheel power generation service market, with the market size reaching tens of billions.


The current first-tier operators in the field of two-wheeled vehicle battery swapping include Tower Energy, Smart Rental Battery Swapping, Yugu Technology, Yimada ePower Swapping, Dudu Battery Swapping, etc. As of the end of 2022, Tower Energy operates 57,000 power swap cabinets, with 902,000 online users. In 2022, the power swap business achieved revenue of RMB 1.8 billion. As of the end of 2022, Yugu Technology operates 20,500 power swap cabinets and has 291,700 online users. Yugu Technology submitted a prospectus to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on June 19 and plans to list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange GEM. Dudu Power Swap also completed a 50 million Series A financing in August this year. New investors include Phylion Power, a leading brand of two-wheeled electric vehicle power batteries.


Sodium batteries will take the lead in the two-wheeled vehicle battery swap market

At present, two-wheeled vehicle replacement batteries basically use lithium batteries, but from the perspective of product performance, sodium batteries are more competitive.


First, good safety performance: Compared with lithium batteries, sodium batteries have a very low probability of producing dendrites and will not cause short circuit and spontaneous combustion due to piercing the internal structure of the battery. It can be tested without fire or explosion.


The second is fast charging: Compared with lithium batteries, sodium batteries have better fast charging performance. Generally speaking, lithium iron phosphate batteries can be charged to 80% in 20-30 minutes, and sodium batteries are expected to shorten the time by about 40%. Shortening the charging time can improve the battery turnover rate and the daily service capacity of the battery swap station, thereby shortening the investment payback period for manufacturers.


The third is excellent high and low temperature performance: the working temperature range of sodium batteries is -40C-80℃. The battery still has a good capacity retention rate in high and low temperature environments. The capacity retention rate in cold environments can still be close to 80%, while lithium batteries have a capacity retention rate of 0 degrees Celsius. The following charge and discharge are only 50%-60% of the usual, so in cold places, sodium electricity has more advantages.


For sodium battery companies, compared with the two-wheeled vehicle field, the two-wheeled vehicle battery swap market is expected to take the lead in volume. On the one hand, the verification cycle of the two-wheeled vehicle battery swapping market is short, and the entry threshold for enterprises is relatively low; on the other hand, the two-wheeled vehicle battery swapping field has a relatively high degree of standardization, while the product models in the C-end two-wheeled vehicle field are relatively complex, and sodium batteries have been introduced. The difficulty is even greater; more importantly, the two-wheeled vehicle field is dominated by lead-acid batteries, and the price of sodium batteries will be difficult to match in the short term. The two-wheeled vehicle battery replacement field is dominated by lithium batteries. When the price of sodium batteries drops, the When the price of lithium iron phosphate batteries is basically the same, the competitiveness of sodium batteries will be highlighted.


Data from Qidian Research Institute (SPIR) shows that the price of lithium battery replacement for two-wheelers from 2020 to 2022 is around 0.5/0.5/0.7 yuan/Wh respectively. The current price is around 0.6 yuan/Wh, while the current price of sodium batteries is around 0.5- It is around 0.7 yuan/Wh, and the price is expected to drop further next year.


Many sodium power companies are rushing to "get stuck"

According to Qidian Nadian, there are currently a number of two-wheeled vehicle battery swap companies including China Tower, Dudu Battery Swap, Ivy IoT, and Blowfish Battery Swap, etc., which are developing layouts in the sodium battery field; Duofuoduo, Phylion Sodium battery companies such as Power Supply, Zhongnan Energy, and Mosodium Technology also took the lead in "stuck".


On August 18 this year, around the application of sodium-ion batteries in the field of battery swapping for two-wheelers, MoNa Technology also signed a cooperation agreement with Shenzhen Ivy IoT. At the same time, MoNa’s team also delivered the first batch of batteries to Ivy IoT. The 48V20Ah battery pack specially designed for two-wheelers equipped with sodium-ion batteries has been put into use by the first batch of users.


Duofludo won the bid for the key material and technology research and development project of 48V sodium-ion battery cells for power replacement in China Tower in 2023. The procurement content mainly includes the design and production of core cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries; the research and development and preparation of commercial batteries; the preliminary development of supporting BMS and battery pack products; battery performance testing and pilots, etc. The project plan will be launched immediately after the deal is finalized. Prototype delivery and pilot verification will begin no later than the end of October 2023, and the project will be completed before the end of November 2023.


Duofludo CEO Liao Zhicheng said that although the current Dudu battery swap platform uses lithium batteries, sodium batteries are already the future trend. The current ultra-sodium F1 launched by Phylion has solved many issues that users are focused on such as battery life, charging efficiency, endurance, power display, safety of use, cost performance, etc. In the future, relying on Phylion's industry-leading sodium technology, Dudu The battery swap will use sodium instead of lithium, catering to the development trend of the battery industry and adding more options for users to travel green.


On October 18, Zhu Chen, Vice Chairman of China Sodium Energy, visited Fuzhou Zuohai Hegu New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. In the future, Hegu will focus on sodium-electric battery swapping for two-wheeled vehicles. Currently, China Sodium Energy has established a fully automatic production line in Yangzhou with an annual output of 1GWh full-pole large cylindrical batteries and 5GWh battery module PACK, which can provide cylindrical 32140, 4695 lithium iron phosphate and sodium ion batteries, with ultra-fast charging and high rate Discharge, low temperature performance, long life and other advantages.


The Shanghai University team successfully developed the 4680 all-pole sodium-ion cylindrical battery. This product uses all pole lugs as the core "core" and a steel shell packaging system as the carrier. The cycle life can reach more than 3,000 times, providing an ultra-long life. It can have excellent low-temperature discharge performance in a low-temperature environment of -40°C, and has extremely With excellent rate performance and reduced temperature rise, it can charge 90% of the battery in 10 minutes. At the same time, a sodium-ion battery management system has been developed for the battery replacement application market of two-wheeled vehicles and three-wheeled vehicles. By constructing a chemical property model and complex algorithms, it can accurately predict the usage conditions of sodium electricity, and provide guidance for the application of sodium electricity in the field of battery replacement. Establish theoretical support and improve predictability through high-precision correction models.


In the future, as sodium battery products mature and prices decrease, sodium batteries will have bright application prospects in the field of two-cycle power generation.