Volkswagen-Backed Chinese OEM Rolls Out First Sodium-Ion Battery Electric Car
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Volkswagen-Backed Chinese OEM Rolls Out First Sodium-Ion Battery Electric Car

Sodium-ion battery Yiwei 3 side front view in purple
  • Chinese EV company Yiwei, a new brand under the JAC Group, has launched its first sodium-ion battery electric car.
  • Volkswagen controls 75% of the JAC Group EV joint venture.
  • HiNa Battery supplies the sodium-ion battery technology for Yiwei’s EV.

In December 2023, Yiwei, a new Electric Vehicle (EV) brand under the JAC Group, launched its first sodium-ion battery electric car in China. With a 50% stake in JAC’s parent company following a 1 billion euro investment in 2021, Volkswagen has demonstrated a continued commitment to EV technology, now controlling 75% of its existing EV joint venture. The battery technology for Yiwei’s sodium-ion battery electric car, featuring sodium-ion cylindrical cells, is supplied by HiNa Battery, a tech firm based in Beijing and affiliated with the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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The EV from Yiwei integrates JAC’s UE module technology, a cutting-edge innovation employing a honeycomb battery structure. This structure offers an analogous advantage to BYD’s Blade battery, a technology widely used in Toyota, Kia, and Ford EVs. Furthermore, JAC’s UE resembles CATL’s CTP (cell-to-pack) technology, another innovative approach in EV battery design. This technological integration symbolizes the continual advancement in the electric vehicle industry, setting the pace for further battery innovations. Notably, the eagerly-anticipated deliveries of the Yiwei sodium-ion battery electric cars will commence in January 2024.

JAC introduced the groundbreaking Yiwei 3, the inaugural sodium-ion battery electric car, during the Shanghai Auto Show in February 2023. Initially, Yiwei launched the model with an LFP battery, but JAC assured the industry that a version powered by a sodium-ion battery was on the horizon.


True to their word, the automaker has now disclosed the sodium-ion-battery-operated Sehol E10X. This exciting development showcases a substantial 25 kWh capacity and a notable energy density of 120 Wh/kg. Additionally, it boasts impressive 3C to 4C charging capabilities, enabling the electric hatchback to recharge from 10% to 80% in a rapid 20 minutes.

In 2021, Volkswagen transferred the Sehol brand to JAC. In 2023, JAC said all vehicles would wear either a JAC or Yiwei badge.

In January 2024, Build Your Dreams (BYD) began constructing its first sodium-ion battery plant in Xuzhou, China. With a planned annual output capacity of 30 GWh, investment into the project is 10 billion yuan (USD 1.4 billion).


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SOURCE | IMAGES: JAC

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AUTHOR: 

BILL PIERCE

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