Sodium Batteries From Michigan to Challenge Lithium’s Grip – by David R Baker (Bloomberg News – April 29, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Modern life runs on lithium-ion batteries, powering smartphones, laptops and electric cars alike. But as dominant as they’ve become, there are other ways to build a battery.

Natron Energy Inc. will unveil what it bills as the first full-scale plant in the US for making sodium-ion batteries on Monday. The plant situated near Michigan’s western shore has already started making cells and plans its first shipments in June.

Other companies — including HiNa Battery Technology Co. in China and Northvolt AB in Sweden — are pursuing sodium-ion technology, betting it has advantages over lithium that will give it a place in the fast-growing battery market. Natron’s facility in Holland, Michigan, is funded in part by a nearly $20 million federal grant.

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