Li-ion battery market for EVs to reach $21.8 billion by 2015

New Tripoli, Pa. — In light of A123 Systems’ successful IPO for its lithium-based battery for electric vehicles, The Information Network pegs the global lithium-ion battery market for automotive application in EVs (electric vehicle), HEVs (hybrid electric vehicle), and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) at $31.9 million in 2009, reaching $21.8 billion by 2015 and $74.1 billion by 2020.

Research shows that the number of EV, HEV, and PHEV models with an annual production run of at least 20,000 vehicles will grow from 19 models in 2009 to more than 150 models in 2014 and 200 models in 2019, according to the market research company.

“Light-weight, high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries, which can enable a car to go up to 300 miles on a charge, can cost as much as $35,000, which coincidentally is the replacement cost for the new Tesla Motors Roadster,” said Dr. Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network, in a statement.

The market potential for lithium-ion batteries for automobiles is huge, said Castellano, but cost is a critical factor, and as they are new, so is durability. In a report released in January 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy pointed out that the current cost of lithium-based batteries is approximately a factor of three to five too high on a kWh basis for HEVs, and two times too high for HEVs, according to the market researcher. Also, the ability to attain a 15-year life, or 300,000 HEV cycles, or 5,000 EV cycles are unproven and are anticipated to be difficult, he added.

A123 Systems recently developed an ultra-high-power battery for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team that provides more than ten times the W/kg as compared to a standard Prius battery, according to The Information Network. The company competes in the li-ion battery space with companies such as Advanced Battery Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies, China Sun Group, Ener1, Hong Kong Highpower Technology, and Valence Technologies.

A123 Systems also competes with advanced lead-acid battery (lead carbon) producers like Axion Power International, C&D Technologies, Enersys, and Exide Technologies.

NiMH battery makers are also making inroads in the automotive market. For example, ECD Ovonics has licensed its battery technology to every major manufacturer of NiMH batteries, said The Information Network. The market is projected to reach $1,230 million for HEVs in 2011 compared to a $320 million market for automotive Li-ion batteries, according to the market researcher.

The market research company recently released its report, Semiconductors for Alternative Energy Technologies: Opportunities and Markets.