Cheap Electric Cars powered by Sodium Ion Batteries have arrived

Although many different battery technologies are currently under development, electric vehicle power is dominated by lithium ion battery technology. Lithium ion batteries do have a number of problems. Some fire risk is associated with these batteries, especially older designs but the main problem is the shortage and high prices of materials that make up the cells. Metals such as cobalt and manganese are in short supply and last year the price of lithium carbonate spiked.

Now two giant Chinese battery companies, BYD and CATL, have started manufacturing sodium ion batteries. Sodium is a thousand times more abundant than lithium and much cheaper. Sodium ion batteries are also safer than lithium ion. The technology is still relatively new and so energy density and the number of charging cycles are improving as the science moves forward. This month BYD launched the Seagull in China priced at $11,300. The Seagull is a B class ( supermini - small car ) vehicle with a range of 190 miles. The Seagull is powered by sodium ion batteries and is expected to become the worlds best selling EV within six months. It joins the sodium ion powered Sehol E10 city car in the Chinese market. BYD says all of its cars priced under $30,000 will be powered by sodium ion batteries.

Same video, different name - DGTV

China's push into sodium ion batteries.

China's All-New Sodium-Ion Batteries FINALLY Hit The Market!

A look at CATL and BYD sodium ion batteries, the BYD Seagull and other new battery technologies for 2023.

Same video, different name - DGTV

This is a neat video from BYD. It shows the nail penetration safety test on their lithium iron phosphate blade battery. This blade battery is used on many of their models including the higher capacity 38 kWh battery in the new Seagull car.

Nail Penetration Test on the BYD Blade Battery and NCM Battery | BYD

Here is a video in Chinese of a guy test driving one.

BYD Seagull quick review and first test drive (in Chinese)

Here is a more detailed look at the car. They would likely sell like hot cakes for European city dwellers if offered at that price.

First Look: 2023 BYD Seagull | China's Affordable Electric Revolution

The BYD range of new electric cars have names that take inspiration from the Ocean - the Dolphin, the Seal, and the Seagull.

Don't stay in or out of your electric car while charging it, should you have one.. :grimacing:

Electric car charging explosion. K.O​:innocent:

1 Like

Agreed (I don't have one). If I did, I also wouldn't sit (and definitely wouldn't nap !!) in it (or near it, after seeing that video !!), while it was charging :slightly_smiling_face:
E-bikes are really great though. It makes exploring an area on two wheels, or trips into town for shopping, quite enjoyable.

The sodium ion batteries will need to be proven to show that they are really as safe as is being claimed. However if what is being claimed (with regards to safety of the new sodium batteries vs. lithium ion batteries) is true, then the sodium batteries show a lot of promise. The big bonus would be that they don't have the same risk of catching on fire, that the lithium ion batteries carry as a risk when damaged or they malfunction. Time will tell.

Another interesting take on the car:

BYD SEAGULL Update: World's First Sodium-Battery Powered Car for Under $9,000?

@JF thanks for the interesting articles .. I also don't have an electric car or bike, however E-bikes do look like great fun and a practical way to get about. :bike:

Thank you. What was striking from the video you posted is how that electric car just suddenly blew up, without it giving any warning whatsoever! That guy, he could not even get away and still got hit by debris, even though he was not even right next to it. Not even a puff of smoke to give a warning, before it suddenly blew up. Yikes.

The BYD Dolphin is the next model up in the BYD range from the Seagull. It makes its debut in this weekends Farnborough Fully Charged show live event.

Is This The New King Of Cheap Electric Cars?

BYD Car explosion...

BYD Electric Car Explosion in China 2022-Part1

Race to salvage sinking cargo ship carrying 3,000 vehicles including 350 Mercedes as it burns out of control in North Sea after fire 'caused by electric car'

  • Cargo ship was sailing from Germany to Egypt when an electric car caught fire
  • Crew attempted to put the flames out themselves, with at least one being killed

The race is on to prevent the sinking of a cargo ship off the Dutch coast which is carrying almost 3,000 vehicles, including 350 Mercedes-Benz, as it burns out of control with an electric car believed to be behind the deadly fire.