Increasing awareness regarding the advantages of Electric Vehicles (EVs) backed by favorable government initiatives is anticipated to drive the global automotive lithium-ion battery market over the forecast period. Rising need for high power and high energy density along with excellent safety performance along with minimum self-discharge and low maintenance capabilities are stimulating growth in industry. Escalated adoption of Li-ion batteries in hybrid electric vehicles is driving industry growth. Automotive Li-ion batteries provide higher efficiency than traditional Lead batteries. Additionally, Li-ion batteries are perceived as green alternatives to lead and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries. High endurance feature makes these batteries apt for high drain devices and automobiles.
Li-ion batteries are relatively lighter in weight and more compact than conventional batteries. Employing the battery with slim laminated structure and fewer parts has amplified its flexibility, making its installation easier than its counterparts. Automobile industry is increasingly adopting Li-ion batteries as it is the most promising and fastest growing battery chemistry. Light weight and high electrochemical potential of Lithium metal can be attributed as a major reason for increased adoption of Li-ion batteries in automobiles Automotive Li-ion batteries are experiencing an upsurge in demand owing to capabilities such as prolonged battery life, low maintenance and low self-discharge rate than the usual nickel-cadmium car batteries. Li-ion batteries are swiftly replacing lead-acid batteries as these batteries are well suited for contemporary fuel gauge applications. Additionally, Li-ion batteries offer greater safety to automobile users than the potentially hazardous lead-acid batteries.
The global automotive Li-ion batteries market can be segmented on the basis of applications into Starting Lighting Ignition (SLI), Idle Stop, and Hybrid & electric vehicles. The Hybrid and electric vehicles segment is anticipated to witness high growth owing to escalating demand for Li-ion batteries in Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). Lithium-ion batteries are relatively expensive; however, with appropriate price modeling the SLI segment is projected to witness high growth. Enhanced battery performance and dynamics are anticipated to propel the demand in Idle Stop segment. Automotive batteries are a common source of problems for users in cold regions. Automobile failures owing to frozen electrolyte have created a high demand for Li-ion batteries. These batteries are designed to operate well in freezing temperatures as low as -40°F. Low temperature operability has made these batteries highly desirable in cold regions of North America and Europe.
Countries from the European Union have stressed on the need of creating a sustainable environment and are formulating and implementing strategies to minimizing the carbon footprint. Stringent rules and regulations in countries such as Germany and the UK are instrumental in increasing the demand for automotive Li-ion batteries. Strong presence of automobile manufacturers, focusing on safe and environment friendly batteries are expected to impel growth in the industry. Robust upstream supply chain for Li-ion battery production and commercialization is driving the industry growth in Asia Pacific regional market. Governments in Japan, China and Korea are supporting market vendors to meet the aggressive goals for domestic production of Li-ion batteries through tax rebates and other investment incentives to encourage the adoption of EVs amongst consumers.
Japan’s Lithium-ion cluster is projected to grow owing to sustained investments in Li-ion technology. The Japanese government is undertaking initiatives to boost private sector investments with R&D funding and low cost capital for establishing manufacturing plants. However, lack of awareness among underdeveloped countries may hinder the industry growth. Operational issues such as voltage drop and shorter shelf life are further anticipated to drive down the growth opportunities. Moreover, recycling of these batteries is highly complicated owing to Lithium’s property of being inherently unstable. Thermal runaway and venting may cause fires, making them less desirable. Key recharged vendors dominating the automotive lithium-ion battery market are A123 Systems LLC, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, Boston-Power Inc., BYD Auto Co Ltd., E-One Moli Energy Corp., Johnson Controls Inc., LG Chem Ltd., Lithium Energy Japan Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, and Samsung SDI Co.
Research Support Specialist, USA