As the world is moving towards renewable energy sources, Lithium-ion batteries found their place in the race as the primary option to store energy.
But, Mukesh Ambani, who always like to find the best alternatives to disrupt the market, has now traveled to England with a 100 million pounds and has come back with sodium to replace Lithium.
To kick off his power storage gigafactory, he bets on sodium-ion instead of lithium-ion. He believes that sodium-ion can be the best alternative to lithium-ion as the earth’s crust has sodium, 300 times more than lithium. Because of the high global adaptation rate of EVs, the core elements used in the EV batteries are getting scarce.
BloombergNEF is predicting a 5 times jump in the hunger for metals used to make lithium-ion cells by 2030. They also believe that the battery packs will get more expensive in 2022 for the first time in EV history.
In the middle of a $76 billion clean energy push, Ambani is very much eager to find the best core element which can be cost-efficient to compete in the Indian market and be better than Lead-acid batteries.
Mukesh Ambani believes that even though the efficiency of Sodium-ion is lower than Lithium-ion, his price-sensitive customers all over the world will consider this as their best bet.
He is also putting additional 25 million pounds to speed up the commercialization of the sodium-ion batteries made by Faradion Ltd, an Sheffield- and Oxford-based company. His primary goal is to use the technology in Reliance’s battery gigafactory in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
While everyone is questioning the efficiency of the Sodium-ion cells, a startup working on this research for more than 10 years claims that it is delivering 160-170 Watt-hour per kg commercially and is expecting to hit the 200 Watt-hour mark soon. Few standard Lithium-ion cells deliver the same amount of power (200 Watt-hour) when used commercially.
Finally, Sodium, the salt of the earth is not only the seed to Ambani’s ambition in the battery industry but also a starting point of this technology which is beneficial to him as well as our country.
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