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Forecast: Lithium Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles to Approach $8 Billion in Sales by 2015

PHEV/EV Models 2010-2012 by Battery Chemistry. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

According to a new report from Pike Research, a rapidly growing global market for electrified vehicles—particularly plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles—will create a Li-ion transportation battery industry with nearly $8 billion in sales worldwide by 2015, up from $878 million in 2010.

In the near term, the Li-ion market, and the electric vehicle (EV) industry in general, will be largely fueled by government subsidies, incentives, and production goals, the report says. The earliest part of the decade will see tremendous growth as dozens of manufacturers will start to meet the anticipated demands of newly electrified vehicles being launched by nearly every major global automotive company.

2012 will be the make or break year for the electric vehicle market. As government support for the sector winds down, demand from consumers and businesses will need to pick up the slack, or the industry faces the risk of oversupply.

—Pike senior analyst John Gartner

Battery chemistries that prioritize energy capacity over power density can equally satisfy both the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the EV battery segments, enabling vendors to offer products to multiple vendors for multiple models. Hybrid vehicles, which require batteries that primarily provide short bursts of power for acceleration and allow the engine to be turned off when idling, have been served well by less expensive nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, and this class of vehicles will be much slower to shift to higher cost Li-ion batteries, according to the report.

Ultracapacitors, which provide high-power and low-energy density, will begin to appear in small quantities as complements to Li-ion batteries. As the technology becomes less costly, ultracapacitors have the potential to replace batteries in micro or mild hybrid applications.

Despite the potential to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to provide the convenience of home charging, electrified vehicles will continue to be a niche market in the global transportation industry, the report finds. Even with broad global interest in EVs, less than 2.5% of the world’s fleet in 2015 will be driving at least part of the time on battery power only, according to the forecast.

Just as Li-ion batteries are relatively untested in real-world transportation applications, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles are an unknown as a mass consumer offering. Automakers that have studied consumer driving habits estimate an average of approximately 33 miles per day. Based on this data, PHEV engineers have focused on designing vehicles with a 30 to 40 mile all-electric range. However, whether or not a broad audience of consumers would be willing to pay 50% or more for a vehicle than can drive most of its miles on battery power is unknown. Battery manufacturers need to prepare for the possibility that consumers will gravitate towards less expensive vehicles with smaller battery packs (for 10 to 20 miles of all-electric power), which has the potential to broaden the electrified vehicle market, but reduces the total amount of batteries required. Conversely, if all-electric vehicles with 80 to 100 mile range are able to satisfy consumer tastes as primary vehicles, a smaller universe of PHEVs may emerge

—“Electric Vehicle Batteries”

Gartner anticipates that prices for Li-ion batteries will be a key determinant in the ultimate market acceptance of EVs, since battery cost will represent much of the price premium for electric vehicles. He forecasts that Li-ion prices will improve significantly over the next few years, falling 50% from $940 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2010 to $470 per kWh in 2015.

Regardless of the direction of the electrified vehicle market, the universe of Li-ion battery suppliers is likely to consolidate to a small number of major players that dominate the industry and a handful of much smaller niche companies. A limited number (likely four or fewer) battery chemistries that provide the best mix of performance, reliability, and cost will win out, with others likely to be abandoned by mid-decade.

—“Electric Vehicle Batteries”

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Batteries”, examines the key market dynamics for Lithium Ion batteries in plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Analysis includes industry and government drivers for the electrification of vehicles, and the role of advanced battery technologies in the development of this new sector. The report includes profiles of key players and market forecasts through 2015. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.




Something projected to grow its market ten fold in only 5 years is too good for business people to pass up. This makes this potentially the next big thing for investment. It does not take a visionary to see that there is money to be made here.


BY 2015, sales to multiply by 10 and price to drop by 50%. Both may be under estimated.

With growing worldwide interest, in 2, 3 and 4-wheel PHEVs and BEVs, we may see sales going up 15 to 20 times by 2015/16 and cost per Kwh going down from $1000 to $333 and even $300 and below, specially from China.

Ultra light weight vehicles (like the 300 Kg C*ta) could go up to 25 Km on a single Kwh. Ultra light weight e-nanos (with one to six 1 Kwh modules) could be developed and built at very cost in China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Russia etc to satisfy part of the huge local markets.

We may see millions and even billions of those low cost e-bugs on city streets and villages much sooner than we think.

It may take up to 100 large battery factories to keep up with the rising demands.


"We may see millions and even billions of those low cost e-bugs on city streets and villages much sooner than we think."

Which is why there has been a large run on e-swatters lately. Kidding Harv. This is great news for all EV evangelists. Sure there's plenty of money and that's what drives adoption in a developing planet such as ours.

The actual cost per kWh is already around $400 as Henrick often points out. So the drop will be quick as volume increases. Another point: nationalism, a bad word for the globalists will further drive EV adoption. Because driving vehicles domestically fueled will be seen as a positive action.

The more owning and operating a HEV/BEV is positioned as a good thing for your country - the greater the adoption incentive. Sort of like selling War Bonds 60 years ago.

The global community is made up of sovereign villages called nations. They are encouraged to trade and cooperatively co-exist whilst competing as they do in the Olympics. Cooperative competition is healthy for the village as a whole.


About 5 interesting pdf's free download on the link provided.
Thanks from A collector.


sorry wrong article was looking at this,


I think the biggest bottleneck will be getting lithium out of the ground fast enough and converting it into batteries. The market will switch over to EV's very quickly once the genie is out of the bottle.

"Cooperative competition is healthy for the village as a whole."

Unless your comptition is a factory in China that has low operating costs due to penny wages and no environmental regulations.



EVs make so much sense and there is such a huge world wide market for them (specially the small, ultra light weight versions) that sales will take off as soon as they become available. They will sell like bicycles.

With smaller modular batteries, people could recharge their batteries with one or two PVs installed on their house, garage etc and ride free for years. The 5-car family may be around the corner.


Uh .. no.

The problem is a little bit of math that many fal flat on thier face dealing with.

To push the plug in and bev into the mainstream they have to do several things at the same time.

1 Make the pack alot smaller.

2 Make the pack alot higher capacity.

3 Make the pack alot cheaper.

4 Make the pack last longer.

Now 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 are a big problem.

Lets say you ONLY need to increase capacity 2x while decreasing size 2x... That requires 4x the density AT THE PACK LEVEL. That means a good bit more then 4x density at the cell level.

And to both double the capacity and halve the cost you have to drop the cost of the cells from near 1k per kwh to 250 bucks per kwh.

And the bad thing is even if you managed to do that.. its still not going to sell mainstream.

No to sell mainstream you will need to go 3x on all factors or more.. thats 9x density 1/9th cost per kwh.

And even that wont be a very good CAR. Even with that you will still have only 200 mile ranges and STILL have a spendy car with a pack that still takes up a large chunk of space.

Now throw in durablity into the mess and add in the tax credits HAVING to go away as it hits mainstream and we have meltdown.


I disagree wintermanee. Why would you have to do 2x improvement in both size and energy density? That doesn't even make sense. There is no problem fitting batteries in cars with 100 mile range today so if you double the energy density then that same size pack gives you a 200 mile range.

As for price, it's already down to $350/kWh (just go to Thundersky's website and you order them yourself. I know a lot of people who are using them in their conversions today and LOVE them).

The Nissan leaf will have a 100 mile range and perfectly acceptable performance in all other areas. They already have the battery tech to have that same car doing 200 miles with full scale production by 2015.

The vehicle price looks to be in the same range as a Prius...and we can argue about Nissan doing the battery lease. I hate leases, but to me I'd rather pay a battery lease than pay for oil every month and the cost will be about the same.

My OPINION is that a car like the leaf with 200 mile range is very interesting. It's just an opinion but
I'm betting that there will be a lot of people who agree with me. We'll see.


The cost of the pack when installed by factory workers and with a 5 year or 10 year warranty is currently 1 grand per kwh.

I could get a car engine fairly cheap.. getting it into my car and working and with a 10 year warranty... not so cheap.

Anyhoo what I have read so far says they need to get the pack SIZE and total weigh down by a large factor and at the same time increase the total capacity. Thats a tall order.

And because batteries have a much wider range of lifespans then engines do.. as in too many will poop out far sooner then others.. getting that 5-10 year x mile warranty is a bugger.


@Winter: Agreed. I guess it's going to come down to the what they can get the warranty cost down to. The pack should have some value either for recycling or in use for utility backup or something. But I'm hoping that between residual value and their desire to keep the cost reasonable they'll make it work.

Bottom line for me, if they can get the monthly lease of the battery down below $200/month, then it will be about the same as I pay for gas so I'd gladly make that trade off. When gas prices go back up, that price goes back up for me as well.

Again that's just a personal opinion and what I'm willing to do. But I think that if it means we can stop buying as much foreign oil then a lot of people will make that same choice.

As far as battery life, I'm still not sure why everyone is taking so long to start using supercaps in parallel to extend battery life. It's fairly easy to get a 60% improvement in battery life by adding the supercaps and it only takes about 120Wh to accelerate a 3000lb car to 60 mph when used in conjunction with the batteries (lots of calculations go into that number but we've done some testing to prove it out and it's real world).
I know the supercaps add another $1k or so, but for what they do for battery life and performance....seems worth it to me.


In this respect I think fuel cells will help us out alot. The fuel cell cars will take care of the high milage high energy sector where batteries face realy hard issues and together they should squeeze the middle fairly well to hopefully drop our need for oil quickly enough.


The Nissan Leaf's battery pack is inside the car under the driver's seat. Doesn't sound too big.

Once BEV's are mass produced the cost of installing batteries will drop down a lot.

100 mile range is plenty for most users. When fast recharge stations become ubiquitous it won't even be an issue.


Uh mark the leaf battery pack is bigger then the drivers seat so um nope its not under it.



"Unless your comptition is a factory in China that has low operating costs due to penny wages and no environmental regulations."

The very transgressions that will be a liability. Dirty manufacturers with criminal Human Rights violations, will not earn brownie points in democracies. Low cost, emission intensive products from China will be viewed negatively until those things change.

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