Energy storage systems, in particular, batteries, are key technologies in the transition towards a carbon neutral society. Due to the growing electric mobility market, lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are produced at increasingly large scale resulting in large cost reduction and new opportunities for their implementation in energy storage at grid and/or household level. By 2040, it is expected that the number of electric vehicles will increase two to three orders of magnitude and stationary storage may reach up to 1300 GWh, compared to 3-4 GWh installed in front-of-the-meter today. This leads to concerns about the future and long-term availability and cost of critical raw materials (cobalt, nickel, lithium and copper) employed in LIB. Although LIBs are excellent candidates for the electro-mobility application, Europe still needs new generations of high performance, reliable, safe, sustainable and affordable batteries for stationary storage. In Sodium Ion (SIB) and Sodium Metal (SMB) batteries, the critical materials employed in LIBs can be replaced with widely abundant and sustainable materials paving the way toward greener, more sustainable, lower cost next generation energy storage technologies.
The SIMBA project main goal is the development of a highly cost-effective, safe, all-solid-state-battery with sodium as mobile ionic charge carrier for stationary energy storage applications. Although in many ways SIBs are similar to LIBs, there are still a number of persistent scientific and technical challenges to be addressed in understanding electrochemical processes and degradation mechanisms, electrode, solid-state electrolyte and cell manufacturing. SIMBA aims to solve these challenges and pave the way to market introduction. In terms of customer value, it will target the product market space between LIB and lead-acid batteries, offering similar performance advantages of LIB (high efficiency, low volume and weight) but with the cost-advantage of lead-acid (low material cost and ease of recycling).