The market for lithium-ion transportation batteries will grow to nearly $8 billion dollars by 2015, up from $878 million in 2010, according to a new report by Pike Research.
As the global market for electrified vehicles grows rapidly over the next several years, lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in a variety of chemistries will be the technology of choice for auto manufacturers. The opportunity for Li-ion batteries will be primarily driven by plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, which require much larger battery packs than conventional hybrids.
In the near term, the Li-ion market, and the electric vehicle (EV) industry in general, will be largely fueled by government subsidies, incentives, and production goals.
“2012 will be the make or break year for the electric vehicle market,” says senior analyst John Gartner. “As government support for the sector winds down, demand from consumers and businesses will need to pick up the slack, or the industry faces the risk of oversupply.”
Gartner anticipates that prices for Li-ion batteries will be a key determinant in the ultimate market acceptance of EVs, since battery cost will represent much of the price premium for electric vehicles. He forecasts that Li-ion prices will improve significantly over the next few years, falling 50% from $940 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2010 to $470 per kWh in 2015.
Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Batteries”, examines the key market dynamics for Lithium Ion batteries in plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
The report includes profiles of key players and market forecasts through 2015. For instance, Asia, which has dominated the global market for Li-ion batteries to date, will remain the
global leader in both Li-ion production and consumption, the report states. The
governments of China and Japan have pledged to rapidly move their automotive industries
towards battery-powered vehicles through aggressive goals for production, creation of
charging infrastructure, and incentives for consumer purchases. The report says Asian Li-ion battery
market will surpass $4 billion in 2015, a 53% market share.
Analysis also includes industry and government drivers for the
electrification of vehicles, and the role of advanced battery
technologies, such as ultracapcitors, in the development of this new sector. Ultracapacitors, which provide high-power and low-energy density, will begin to appear in small quantities as complements to Li-ion batteries. As the technology becomes less costly, ultracapacitors have the potential to replace batteries in micro or mild hybrid applications.
However, analysts believe even with broad global interest in EVs, less than 2.5% of the world's fleet in 2015 will be driving at least part of the time on battery power only.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download at the link below.