A recent special report, “The Lithium Ion battery market: High demand expected, but costs are great too” from IHS iSuppli describes the Li-ion battery market but doesn’t make any unexpected lead-in statements by saying the high-demand is expected but that costs are also high. I think we all knew that.
They say that there is an expected upsurge for Li-ion batteries for the automotive market because of the advantages promised by the technology including the light weight, the no-memory effect, and the slow loss of charge when not in use. But they still cost too much to make. However, the industry’s major players are investing big money, expected to reach $13B in battery production by 2020.The report tells of the alliance between vendors and users and also highlights the research and competitive trends in the market. What was very interesting was expected drop in price drop of Li-ion from $1,500/kWh in 2009 to parity with all the other major battery technologies including NAS, lead-acid, and nickel metal hydride of about $400/kWh by 2020. It’s a precipitous drop but it’s far too slow for me. It’s a Catch-22 event – the Li-ion batteries will drop in price if the EV market takes off, but the EV market won’t take off until the battery prices drop. Fortunately, the Li-ion battery feeds into more than one industry and isn’t a one-trick pony so we could see improved traction and acceptance of the technology sooner rather than later.
Some key issues addressed in the report include how the costs can be reduced for li-ion battery production; what factors will stimulate the demand; which automakers are aggressive in the EV market, which battery makers are targeting the EV market, and which country is most aggressive in fueling the EV demand.
Get more information on this report at http://www.isuppli.com/Abstract/P18802_20110804122658.pdf