Researchers at the University of Michigan - Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) and Oxford University are partnering on a two-year joint research and development program for solid-state sodium batteries.
Solid-state sodium batteries could provide energy density equivalent to lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost, with potential applications in large-scale energy storage, low-speed electric vehicles and electric bicycles.
China has a huge market for low-speed electric vehicles and electric bicycles which mainly use lead-acid batteries (with more serious pollution issues), or lithium-ion batteries (with higher costs). The development of solid-state sodium batteries could effectively reduce the cost and the environmental pollution associated with batteries. However, due to the instability of the interface between the solid electrode and the solid electrolyte, the performance of the solid-state sodium batteries is still poor.
The JI-Oxford joint research team will develop new materials, new characterization methods, and new battery systems, eventually to enable solid-state sodium batteries with long-term cycling stability. This cooperation lays the foundation for in-depth cooperation with Professor Peter Bruce of Oxford University JI Associate Professor Shouhang Bo and and the future application of the China-UK joint solid-state battery project.