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Large and Advanced Battery Technology & Markets

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Bharat Book introduces a report "Large and Advanced Battery Technology & Markets" Until the 1980s, the global battery market was considered mature, with demand closely related to sales of either automobiles or various portable consumer products.

 Since then, advanced batteries have helped spark a dramatic change in this relationship.

“Large-and-advanced battery” is an arbitrary designation developed by BCC Research to describe a market-driven battery classification. As defined in this report, large-and-advanced batteries must have three attributes: They must be secondary (rechargeable) electrochemical energy storage devices (batteries), “large” in terms of size and energy capacity and technologically advanced.This definition excludes all primary (non-rechargeable) batteries and all lead-acid automotive batteries, as well as all A, C and D cylindrical batteries and button cells. Most non-automotive lead-acid batteries are included. Many portable product batteries are included, including computer, smartphone, tablet and portable tools.

Several entirely new classes of advanced batteries have been commercialized during the last 25 years, including lithium-ion, nickel metal hydride and zinc-air designs. Meanwhile, improved microelectronic battery charger controller technology has allowed smaller, higher energy density cells. This has often been at the expense of previously important battery systems (notably nickel-cadmium and portable product lead-acid). This, in turn, has allowed the commercialization of portable products that would have been impossible without these improvements, including laptop and tablet computers, smartphones and cordless hand tools.

As this synergy continues to develop, there are areas where the advanced battery industry could experience the explosive growth usually associated with emerging industries. Examples include hybrid electric vehicles (possibly including plug-in versions), as well as utility-load leveling systems and wind-power energy storage. Battery designers (mainly electrochemists) and battery charger designers (mainly electrical and electronics specialists) will continue to operate together, with better batteries and better battery chargers evolving together to produce even higher performance large-and-advanced batteries.


Large-and-advanced battery technical advances, and a realignment of the battery industry players, must be matched by new marketing strategies. Battery designers and users now must cooperate to meet more demanding design requirements. At the same time, there must be an understanding of the competitive forces that help shape the market, along with up-to-date knowledge of competitor activities.

Improved batteries provide power to an ever-growing suite of portable products, including items that were previously powered by primary cells or first-generation rechargeables (flashlights, radios, etc.). There are also products that would not really be practical or convenient without state-of-the-art batteries (cellular phones, smartphones, laptops and tablets). There remains the potential for new giant battery markets; hybrid and plug-in vehicles are one example, as are new military battery applications. Extremely large batteries are also being evaluated for utility load leveling, wind farm power storage and remote power generation.

Just as lithium batteries replaced nickel-based and primary batteries for many applications, current lithium-ion battery designs are beginning to be replaced by advanced lithium-ion chemistries like lithium phosphate, lithium iron phosphate and lithium-polymer systems. Nickel metal hydride batteries have been used in consumer electronics for decades and in electric vehicles and especially hybrid vehicles for years, and are now being improved for large stationary applications. Giant sodium-sulfur batteries are being deployed by electric utilities. Even the venerable lead-acid battery is being improved using new materials.

Meanwhile, several important trends need to be tracked and analyzed.

First, several of lithium batteries’ largest and highest growth markets are in transition. For instance, an entirely new portable product—the tablet—is replacing portable computers. Stand-alone cellphones are being replaced by multi-functional smartphones. At the same time, battery-powered plug-in vehicles have been commercialized and are competing with both conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles and increasingly popular internal/combustion/battery hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). After billions of dollars were earmarked for U.S. battery development, several high-profile battery and EV companies either failed outright or failed to achieve goals.

Some traditional markets have declined due to global recessionary forces, including unemployment, difficulty obtaining consumer credit and lower commercial demand. At the same time, U.S. gasoline prices peaked and fell from a high of more than $4 per gallon and then back to somewhat above $2 per gallon. In the People’s Republic of China, the world’s largest fleet of EVs are lead-acid battery-powered scooters. The ultimate market for these EVs depends on two possible scenarios: On one hand, Chinese legislation may reduce market growth or even outlaw the scooters in some significant markets. On the other hand, they could spread, starting with other continental Asian markets.


This report is intended to provide a unique analysis of the global large-and-advanced battery market, and will be of interest to manufacturers of batteries, battery chargers and battery-powered products, including stationary and portable products, and battery-powered vehicles. It also will be valuable to those involved in large-and-advanced battery development and marketing, as well as those offering competing non-rechargeable power sources. Existing or potential battery consumers, as well as the military and the medical profession, can determine existing or potential battery markets. End users (OEMs or consumers) will learn what designs battery systems will and will not allow.

This report also can provide valuable information in terms of assessing investment in particular technologies and, therefore, should benefit investors directly or indirectly. Battery suppliers also may find market trends of interest in view of establishing growth strategies. BCC Research wishes to thank those companies, government agencies and university researchers who contributed information for this report.

Next, the following established markets are considered in this report:

Motive power: Traction, marine and aviation.
Portable product power: Laptops, tablets, smartphones, hand tools and lawn care products, military/aerospace.
Stationary power: Uninterruptible power supplies, emergency lighting, remote power, small-scale alternative energy storage.
Hybrid electric vehicles.

Large-and-advanced batteries also will be used in the following developing markets:

Plug-in vehicles.
Utility load leveling and large-scale alternative energy storage.
Developmental military/aerospace applications.

These market sectors are defined, leading companies are identified and the markets analyzed (including a five-year market forecast). Finally, large-and advanced-battery companies are outlined in the Company Profiles chapter.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report, which is based on interviews with commercial and government sources, literature reviews and patent examinations. Throughout the report, past market data is expressed in current dollars, and estimates and projections are in constant 2012 dollars. Historic markets and the projected markets for 2012 and 2017 are provided. Most market summaries are based on a consensus scenario. Pessimistic, consensus and optimistic market scenarios characterize several developmental markets. Totals are rounded to the nearest million dollars. When appropriate, information from previously published sources is identified to allow a more detailed examination by clients.


Market assumptions used in this report include those based on updates of material from an earlier version of this analysis, as well as from BCC Research studies FCB023E Portable Battery Powered Products: Global Markets and FCB028E Lithium Batteries: Markets and Materials. This report’s author prepared these studies as well. Spanning 20 years, he also edited the BCC Research newsletter, “Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress” and its predecessor “Battery and Electric Vehicles News.” Market assumptions used in this report include those based on updates of material from an earlier version of this analysis, as well as from the BCC Research study, Lithium Batteries: Markets and Materials and Portable Battery-Powered Products: Global Markets. This report’s author prepared these studies as well.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report, which is based on interviews with commercial and government sources, literature reviews and patent examinations. An in-depth analysis of technical and business literature and published dissertations; a review of the history of the technologies involved; and interviews with industry experts, company representatives, federal government researchers and university scientists provides an assessment of the outlook for alternative electrical power storage. Other information sources include product literature from suppliers, scientific references, conferences and patent searches.

Although many segments of the industry are well-documented, much of this information is based on estimates rather than hard facts. The distinction between these estimates and hard facts can be vital, and sources are identified wherever possible. When appropriate, information from previously published sources is identified to allow for a more detailed examination.

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