Sales of Lithium Ion Batteries Grow as New Electric Vehicles Debut

The lithium-ion battery market is growing with the increasing number of launches of electric vehicles and hybrid EVs. Since these types of EVs are produced in much larger numbers than previous generations, there are a growing number of lithium-ion batteries in use. HEVs that previously used nickel-metal hydride batteries, including those from market leader Toyota, are now changing to lithium ion technology.

The latest research shows that the lithium ion battery market had revenues of $2.13 billion in 2012. Moreover, there are projections that this could reach as much as reach $12.84 billion in 2019. The advanced battery market has significant government support in the form of rebates, which varies according to the country, state and city.

The data come from a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.powersupplies.frost.com) in a report called Global Hybrid Electric and Electric Vehicle Lithium-ion Battery Market.

Government support is determined by the actual vehicle type including (hybrid, fully electric); extended range EVs (EREVs); and battery EVs (BEVs), all of which qualify for higher rebates than HEVs.

“Some municipalities and employers also promote these vehicles by offering premier parking spots and free charging stations,” said Frost & Sullivan Energy and Environment Research Analyst Wesley Dean. “All these initiatives are increasing the sales of HEVs and EVs and thereby, Li-ion batteries.”

While rebates and other promotional schemes do persuade consumers to invest in EVs, the biggest purchase factor remains the initial investment cost for the vehicle. The high costs of the battery makes EVs less price competitive than the more traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Automakers are attempting address the cost problem by increasing production volumes, improving efficiencies in production processes, and finding other suitable applications for these batteries to improve economies of scale.

Manufacturers are striving to establish standards as each battery company is hoping to identify the ideal battery chemistry and configuration. The lack of standards complicates the logistics and practicality of both battery swapping and second-life applications. Consumers also expect lithium-ion batteries to provide superior vehicle performance, reliability, durability and range.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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