Batteries are indispensable, omnipresent sources of energy that virtually power every portable electronic device and automated gadgets used in the modern world. A healthy future is expected for the market, given the fact that power is an absolute necessity for any society and that recharging an empty battery is critical in sustaining all equipment operations. Advancements in battery chemistries are comparatively slower in comparison to electronic devices such as computers, which double in processing power every 18 months. In case of batteries, the rise in energy density on an average is 5% per annum. Europe represents the global leader in battery research, with several active R&D projects underway among industrial research centers and universities, unlike in Japan where most of the research is carried out by leading battery companies. Poised to witness the strongest gains in research funding are Li-Ion batteries, given the promising potential of this battery technology to meet the growing energy guzzling computing needs of portable consumer products and to meet reliability and scalability demands of electric vehicles. Incremental advancements in weight, form factor, life span and cost of Li-Ion batteries will open up newer growth avenues in the marketplace.
Consumer electronics industry has and will continue to remain a lucrative end-user of rechargeable batteries. Modern telecommunication devices such as mobile phones are being increasingly equipped with advanced features such as multi-media messaging and TV viewing that utilizes a sizable part of battery power within a short duration, requiring recharging. With the usage of modern electronic devices set to reach new heights in coming years, the rechargeable battery market is forecast to witness stable growth. Another potential laden application area is the automotive industry. The role of rechargeable batteries in the automotive sector is projected to witness rapid growth in the coming years. Different types of rechargeable batteries, especially the Lithium-ion batteries, are expected to expand significantly in the automotive sector. Due to environmental pressures and increasing oil concerns, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gaining prominence as a sophisticated heavy-duty and light vehicle technology. Many regions across the globe including Japan, the US and Europe, are engaged in developing and deploying electric car technology. Several electric cars are expected to use Lithium-ion batteries that are more powerful and lighter than nickel-metal hydride batteries used in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius.
The consumer electronics industry in Europe remains nervous about the play out of the sovereign debt crisis drama. The market is facing immediate hurdles, such as, credit restriction, consumer indecisiveness and fears of possible collapse of consumer confidence in the event of escalation in the severity of the debt crisis. Amid conflicting news on the success of Europe’s band-aid strategy of containing the crisis, market sentiments continue to swing between hope and concerns. For instance, bailout packages extended to Greece by the EU has and will continue to help the country avoid a sovereign default on its bond payments into the short-term keeping the Euro region intact. On the flip side, bearish market sentiments indicate that tough government spending cuts and increase in taxes as part of the austerity measures could bring consumer spending under pressure in debt ridden economies. However, an overly hasty stand on spending cuts is not seen as likely in relatively stronger economies with lower debt loads like in Germany and Italy, primarily because of the growing acceptance of the counterproductive implications of such a strategy. For instance, spending cuts can curtail GDP growth and further reduce revenues and weaken the government’s ability to repay its debts while simultaneously resulting in larger fiscal deficits accumulating into higher public debts.
In the industrial sector, demand for industrial rechargeable batteries is forecast to hold up in the year 2012, despite the mixed signals emanating from the volatile manufacturing data in Spain and Italy and the encouraging industrial performance in Germany. Although the threat of withdrawal symptoms of the austerity packages enforced in debt afflicted economies remains real, with reduced ability of the government to fund capital expenditure likely to impact capital intensive production infrastructure and activities, most market indicators for the immediate-term future feature a largely positive outlook. Manufacturing production which continued to recover from 2010 through 2011 is expected to continue into the year 2012. For instance, in Germany, which represents Europe’s industrial powerhouse, industrial/manufacturing output is holding well as indicated by the country’s yet strong export market. The recovery in industrial output posted by Germany in the month of January 2012, which breached industry forecasts, additionally infuses confidence in sporting the optimistic outlook. Although EU’s weaker peripheral nations like Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy are recording fluctuating industrial production data, currently, however overall industrial production in Europe continues to hold up. For instance, industrial production in the Euro area (EA17) and EU27 rose by 0.2% in the month of January 2012. Against a backdrop of all of these factors, consumer spending which continues to remain a key pillar of growth in the market, which although currently jittery and sensitive to vacillating market sentiments, is nevertheless expected to hold up in the year 2012.
As stated by the new market research report on Rechargeable Batteries, Asia-Pacific represents the single largest market worldwide. The region is also expected to witness the highest growth of 11.8% over the analysis period. Spiraling demand for cellular phones in populous developing markets like China and India is poised to drive growth in this region.
Major players in the marketplace include Battery Technology Inc., BYD Company Limited, Danionics A/S, Duracell International Inc., Energizer Holdings Inc., E-One Moli Energy Ltd., Eveready Industries India Ltd., FDK Corporation, GP Batteries International Limited, GS Yuasa Corp., Hitachi Maxell Ltd., LG Chem, Panasonic Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., SANYO Energy (USA) Corporation, Saft Groupe SA, Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., Sony Corp., Spectrum Brands Incorporated, TCL Hyperpower Batteries Inc., Uniross Batteries, Valence Technology Inc., and VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & CoKGaA.
The research report titled "Rechargeable Batteries: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, issues, competition, product overview, recent product introductions, recent industry activity and profiles of major/niche global as well as regional market participants. The report provides market estimates and projections for geographic markets, such as, US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Latin America. Key battery chemistries analyzed include Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal Hydride, Lithium-Ion, and Lithium-Ion Polymer.