JAC Yiwei starts first exports electric cars with sodium-ion batteries

Electric cars with sodium-ion batteries are being shipped from China for the first time. Specifically, 5,000 units of the E10X small electric car from JAC Yiwei are being transported to Central and South America.

Image: JAC

This was reported by Car News China with reference to a ceremony at JAC’s Smart Factory in China to mark the first export batch of the young electric car brand Yiwei for Central and South America. The brand, which was founded in 2023, is a successor to the joint venture brand Sehol from JAC and Volkswagen Anhui. It was announced at the turn of the year that its new small electric car would soon be delivered with a sodium-ion battery on board.

A total of 10,000 Yiwei electric vehicles will be shipped to Central and South America – 5,000 units each with LFP and Na-ion batteries on board. The 4-metre-long model with LFP battery is called Yiwei 3 and, according to Car News China, is equipped with a 70 or 100 kW electric motor and a 41 or 51.5 kWh battery. The new electric vehicle with a sodium-ion battery is called the E10X (just like its predecessor, the Sehol E10X). It is 3.65 metres long and, according to the portal report, has an energy content of 23.2 kWh for 230 kilometres according to the Chinese standard. A version with a range of 300 kilometres is set to follow in the second half of 2024.

Yiwei succeeded the joint venture brand Sehol from JAC and Volkswagen Anhui. Volkswagen Anhui is known to be the former JAC-Volkswagen joint venture. After the Wolfsburg-based company was allowed to acquire a majority stake in the joint venture, JAC was removed from the name and the name of the province in which the headquarters are located was added instead.

As reported, the sodium-ion batteries in the JAC Yiwei EV come from Hina Battery. Almost a year ago, Hina Battery and Sehol had already presented a test vehicle with sodium-ion batteries, which was based on the Sehol EX10 small electric car. Sehol was transferred as a brand from VW to JAC in 2021. When the Yiwei brand was introduced in May 2023, JAC announced that it would abandon the Sehol name and rename all vehicles JAC or Yiwei. In the Sehol E10X, the sodium-ion battery installed for testing had a capacity of 25 kWh, an energy density of 120 Wh/kg and a charging rate of 3C to 4C (SoC 10% – 80% in 20 minutes).

According to an earlier report by Car News China, JAC has recently invested heavily in the research and development of sodium-ion batteries. At the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2023, the company presented its first car under the Yiwei brand: the Yiwei 3 was even on display at the show with a sodium-ion battery, but was launched on the market in mid-2023 with a conventional LFP battery.

Xia Shunli, Chairman of Yiwei, is quoted in Chinese media as saying that sodium-ion batteries will become an important battery type – “complementary to LFP batteries”. In his eyes, they are developing into a cost-effective solution that will promote the popularisation of electric vehicles for the masses.



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