Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Bedrock Materials

Sodium-based batteries for greener EVs

Mobility & Transport

A startup is providing key input materials for a lithium-ion battery alternative

Spotted: Electric vehicle sales are growing rapidly around the world. But their reliance on lithium-ion batteries, which require critical minerals like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper, raises some supply chain and environmental concerns. Enter Bedrock Materials, a Stanford University startup that’s betting on sodium-ion batteries. This eco-friendly and low-cost alternative uses affordable, widely available materials.

Sodium-ion batteries, which use sodium rather than lithium ions as the charge carrier, can be produced using the same equipment and infrastructure as lithium-ion batteries, but the engineered active materials they rely on are not yet produced at scale. This is where Bedrock Materials comes in as it focuses on designing, engineering, and manufacturing cathode materials that are a key input to sodium-ion batteries.

While sodium-ion batteries have slightly lower energy density than lithium-ion equivalents, recent advancements have meant they are now a strong contender for entry-level mobility markets. They offer improved vehicle efficiency, fast charging, improved battery packaging and, importantly, are more sustainable. In fact, by using plentiful materials like manganese, iron, sodium, and aluminium – instead of critical minerals like lithium, nickel, and cobalt – Bedrock’s replacement could eliminate price volatility and supply chain risks associated with lithium-based batteries. 

Recently, the company raised $9 million in seed funding. With this, the company plans to open a larger, permanent site to scale production later this year.

Springwise has previously spotted other innovations aimed at making EVs more sustainable, from one company providing an eco-friendly lithium-ion battery recycling process to a new battery design that does not use critical metals.

Written By: Georgia King



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