The global market for Li-ion Battery is projected to reach US$91.8 billion by 2025 driven by their use in a wide range of energy storage applications. Among the applications, standing out as a major driver of growth is electric vehicles (EVs).
Li-ion battery technology has a number of important and distinct advantages over competing technologies such as high energy density; lower rate of self-discharge as compared to Ni-Cad and NiMH; maintenance free unlike Ni-Cad cells which need to be periodically discharged to ensure elimination of memory effect; lightweight when compared to other battery types; higher temperature tolerance; fast and safe charging; longer life and durability; higher cycle life over 4000 to 5000 cycles; overthrows issues such as Peukert’s losses and voltage sag typically seen in lead acid batteries, among others.
In the field of EVs, li-ion batteries are poised to dominate as it represents the best performing technology available to date. with the highest coulombic efficiency (CE) ratings in rechargeable batteries at more than 99%; lowest rate of self-discharge; highest multiple number of recharge cycles; lightweight when compared to other battery technologies; and longer life & longevity, this technology is versatile enough to meet current engineering needs of EV designers.
However, li-ion is not the future of EVs. The automobile industry still remains focused on developing the perfect battery technology capable of enabling enable long-range electric vehicles. Li-ion battery technology is a sprinter and can supply energy for just four hours and for long-term success of EVs the need of the hour is long-term energy storage. Solid-state batteries and flow batteries are major technologies that can disrupt the market once they achieve the much awaited commercial breakthrough.
Also, li-ion is hitting its theoretical limits of battery chemistry, making enhancements to energy density more and more challenging. Over the last 5-8 years only 1% to 2% performance improvement has been achieved. Researchers however remain divided on li-ion technology’s potential. Some researchers are experimenting with conductive carbon black powder/charcoal dust to enhance power and energy density of these batteries by over 25%.
The race to develop newer and better batteries is still ongoing and with other technology contenders still far behind, its li-ion’s day in the sun as the technology comes of age and nears its full potential until disrupted by other competing alternatives. As numerous new li-ion battery plants mushroom and as new innovative start-ups push the boundaries of li-ion efficiency, prices will continue to drop while performance will continue to improve, opening up new markets and strengthening demand in existing markets.
The United States, Europe and Asia represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 80.2% of the market. Europe ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 17% over the analysis period, as the region prepares to overtake the United States in terms of battery manufacturing capacity by 2023.
China follows close behind with a 16.2% CAGR adroitly capitalizing on emerging opportunities in Europe by filling in gaps in the lithium ion battery value chain. A significant percentage of battery manufacturing plants being built and planned are owned by Chinese and other Asian manufacturers.