BYD Establishes Sodium Battery Joint Venture to Drive Lower-Cost Battery Commercialization


5/11/20242 min read

BYD, the prominent new energy vehicle (NEV) and power battery giant, has taken a significant step towards advancing lower-cost battery technologies with the formation of a joint venture focused on sodium-ion batteries. The venture, named Huaihai FinDreams Sodium Battery Technology (Xuzhou) Co Ltd, marks a collaboration between BYD's battery unit FinDreams and the local conglomerate Huaihai Holding Group.

Incorporated on April 30 in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, China, the joint venture boasts registered capital of RMB 500 million ($69.2 million), with FinDreams holding a controlling 51 percent stake and Huaihai Holding Group owning the remaining 49 percent. The company's operations span battery manufacturing and sales, as well as the crucial aspect of recycling and utilizing used power batteries.

This strategic partnership aims to bolster technological development and production capacity in the realm of sodium-ion batteries, paving the way for the industrialization of this promising battery technology. Notably, the joint venture's establishment follows an agreement signed between Huaihai and FinDreams in Shenzhen, BYD's headquarters, in November 2023, outlining plans for a sodium battery production base in Xuzhou.

With a planned total investment of RMB 10 billion and an annual capacity targeting 30 GWh, the Xuzhou facility is poised to become the world's largest supplier of sodium battery systems, particularly for microcars. Leveraging Huaihai's resources in marketing and application scenarios alongside FinDreams' product and service expertise, the venture aims for comprehensive integration and optimization of sodium battery technology.

Construction on the sodium-ion battery production base commenced on January 5, marking a significant milestone in the realization of this ambitious project. Huaihai, founded in 1976, boasts a diverse portfolio spanning small vehicles, electric vehicles, components, and financial services, lending further depth to the joint venture's capabilities.

While rumors circulated in November 2022 regarding the mass production of BYD's sodium-ion batteries in 2023 and their prospective integration into models like the Seagull, concrete confirmation from BYD has yet to materialize. Nonetheless, the establishment of the joint venture underscores BYD's commitment to advancing sodium-ion battery technology and driving forward the commercialization of lower-cost battery solutions in the NEV sector.

CATL's unveiling of its first-generation sodium-ion battery in July 2021 notably thrust this lower-cost battery alternative into the spotlight, setting the stage for industry-wide innovation and competition in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.