Is the Future Rosy for Lithium Ion Batteries?

Sunday, January 27, 2013 | comments

Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium ion batteries have been in the news over the last few months with confirmation that significant progress has been made in extending their charge capacity and their association with electric vehicles grows ever closer. Pike Research, one of the more renowned research groups in the field of new energy, has today released a report which suggests that lithium ion sales will increase dramatically over the next eight years.

What are the expected sales figures for lithium ion batteries?

The research note suggests that sales of $1.6 billion in 2012 will mushroom to almost $22 billion in 2020 as electric technology and in particular light duty vehicles become ever more popular. This is an area of technology which has attracted more than its fair share of attention over the last few weeks amid signs that not only battery manufacturers but also electric car manufacturers are willing and able to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into this particular technology.

Why the sudden jump?

Even though sales of electric cars were somewhat disappointing during 2012, with many suggesting the worldwide economy was to blame, there is hope that 2013 will bring in a new era with new technology relating to battery power. Too much investment has already been made in the electric vehicle market and lithium ion battery market to turn back now and government policies are now very much aimed at reducing damage to the environment while at the same time introducing more efficient forms of transport.

Lithium ion batteries have become the power source of choice amongst the electric vehicle industry and this seems set to continue for the foreseeable future.

What does this mean for the EV market?

One of the clouds that continue to hang over the electric vehicle market is the fact that journey capacity and battery capacity are nowhere near that of the traditional fuel powered vehicles. Initially billions of dollars was invested into electric vehicle manufacturing while in some ways leaving behind the technology associated with battery power. This has reversed somewhat over the last few months amid signs that great progress has been made and the lithium ion batteries set to be introduced in 2013 and beyond will greatly enhance journey capacity and battery capacity.

Many governments around the world have already earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid which they will put towards the electric vehicle market and the lithium ion battery sector. This has been well received by the sector and consumers will also become more aware of the improved performance and journey capacity.

Reducing the cost of electric vehicles

As the cost of electric vehicles comes down, as it inevitably will as technology improves and mass-market appeal is achieved, this will increase sales of electric vehicles which will obviously increase sales of lithium ion batteries. This process has already begun although the situation is somewhat clouded by various government subsidies and incentives available today. As long as the ongoing trend in the cost of EVs continues to move downwards then we will see greater take-up of the vehicles themselves.

Conclusion

In many ways the lithium ion battery market was left behind by the EV manufacturers who decided to concentrate wholly upon EV technology. Many now seem to have admitted this fault and significant investment funding has been switched from electric vehicles themselves towards battery power and in particular lithium ion batteries. This bodes very well for not only the electric vehicle market itself but also the lithium ion battery market which is set to grow significantly during the next eight years or so.

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