Study: Battery usage to grow steadily through 2012

Motor vehicles, communication devices to lead increase in market

By Plant Engineering Staff October 15, 2008

Worldwide primary and secondary battery demand will increase 4.8% annually to almost $90 billion in 2012. China will record the largest gains of any national market and will account for more than half of the total global increase in battery demand through 2012. China will surpass the US to become the largest market in the world. Growth will be supported by continued strong demand for battery-powered electronic products, ongoing industrialization efforts and strong growth in motor vehicle production. Increases are also expected to be particularly strong in India, with above average growth in Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and South Korea.

In contrast, demand in the US, Western Europe and Japan will rise much less rapidly through 2012. Still, aggregate battery demand in these Triad countries will increase nearly $3 billion, presenting significant opportunities for battery manufacturers.

These and other trends are presented in World Batteries, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Non-lead-acid secondary battery market gains will outpace demand for primary and lead-acid secondary batteries through 2012. Sales of lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries and, to a lesser extent, nickel-metal hydride batteries will be spurred by the immense popularity of electronic devices such as cell phones and portable digital audio players.

The rapid growth in hybrid vehicle production will also support demand for these batteries. Primary battery demand will benefit from increased use of electrical and electronic products traditionally powered by these batteries and the ongoing conversion from basic, lower-cost zinc-carbon and zinc-chloride dry cells to more advanced, higher-priced alkaline and lithium types, especially in developing regions.

In contrast, lead-acid batteries will see only modest growth, constrained by competition from nickel-metal hydride and lithium-based batteries in a number of applications.