Study: Hybrid Vehicle Battery Market to Reach $2.3B by 2015; Could Top Conventional Automotive Battery Market
Global sales of hybrid vehicles, estimated at 384,000 vehicles in 2006, will reach 1.1 million units in 2010 and 2 million units by 2015, according to a new study, The 2007 Advanced Automotive Battery Industry Report, published by Advanced Automotive Batteries, a battery consultancy headed by Dr. Menahem Anderman.
The corresponding HEV-battery market, estimated at $600 million in 2006, is expected to grow to $1.4 billion in 2010 and $2.3 billion in 2015. This is of comparable magnitude to the conventional lead-acid OEM auto-starting battery business, which is currently about $2 billion.
For vehicles, Toyota, with a 2006 market share of 78%, will remain the clear market leader with a projected share of 60% in 2015. Next in line will be Honda, Ford and General Motors, with a projected combined market share of 25% in 2015; other automakers will account for the remaining 15%, according to the report.
The report projects that full hybrids will continue to be the dominant hybrid architecture, with milder hybrids holding only limited market share, while plug-in hybrids are unlikely to reach truly (unmandated) commercial volumes inside the next 10 years.
NiMH batteries will continue to be the dominant HEV-battery technology through 2010, but are likely to later concede market share to Li-ion batteries. The report suggests that Li-ion batteries can capture 5% of the market by 2010, and 36% by 2015. Introduction of this superior technology still poses significant financial risks associated with unproven reliability and longevity, and with potential safety issues.
Two Japanese battery producers, Panasonic EV Energy and Sanyo, share more than 85% of the current NIMH HEV battery market. Both companies are also developing Li-ion battery solutions for this market where more than a dozen additional battery makers from Japan, Korea, and the US are intending to compete.
Market leader Panasonic EV Energy, a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic Batteries, will continue to enjoy more than 70% market share for at least three more years while other developers are establishing production capability.
The report notes that the hybrid-vehicle market will grow even faster than the above projections if the cost of petroleum-based fuels increases significantly, and if the concern over global warming translates into notable government involvement-via taxation incentives or regulations-to encourage the production of fuel-efficient cars. However, the hybrid-vehicle market may grow more slowly than the above projections if some combination of the following occurs:
Stabilization of oil prices below an inflation-adjusted $50 per barrel;
Significant adoption of diesel-powered cars in the US market; and
Failure of HEV batteries to provide at least eight years of life in most applications.
The report is to be published 30 April.