Published August 15, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
While Bob Lutz expresses words of concern about the Chinese buying their way into battery manufacture here in North America, Lux Research of Boston, MA, predicts the Chinese lithium-ion battery market will nearly double to $9.2 billion in 2016.
Lux Research expects the volumes grow 129 percent to 44.3 Gwh in 2016.
This impressive growth will occur even though demand for emerging electric vehicles will still trail government’s ambitious projections, Lux Research reports.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for battery volumes will be 18.2% while revenues – pegged at $5.0 billion in 2011 – grow at a slower rate of 12.8% as average selling price dips 20 percent to $207 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) in 2016.
“The consumer electronics market continues to dominate the Li-ion battery market but emerging applications are where the hype is and where policy is being focused,” said Zhuo Zhang, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report titled, Hype vs. Policy: The Chinese Market for Lithium Batteries. “The markets for electric bikes and electric vehicles are anticipated to grow fast in a few years but less than 100,000 new-energy vehicles will be sold in 2016, a far cry from the seven-digit target that has battery developers salivating,” Zhuo added.
Among the reports’ findings:
Electric bikes will grow the fastest.
Some 57 percent of the 32 million electric bikes produced in China in 2016 will use lithium-ion batteries, compared with a mere 3 percent in 2011.
$14 billion opportunity lies in telecom base stations.
Telecom base stations are set for a quick policy-driven transition from lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries. The 714,000 base stations in China, aggregated across three massive telecom entities, have been tasked to replace all lead acid, creating a $14 billion opportunity.
Chinese companies eye VC-backed startups.
Foreign venture-capital-backed start-ups will become Chinese companies’ acquisition targets as they struggle to achieve technological breakthroughs. The likes of Boston Power, Ener1, and Altair Nanotechnologies have already cut deals with Chinese partners.
The report, titled “Hype vs. Policy: The Chinese Market for Lithium Batteries,” is part of the Lux Research China Innovation Intelligence service.