Electric Car Battery Companies

Lithium Ion Battery Market to Exceed $50 Billion

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted April 23, 2012

The lithium ion battery market is set to grow tremendously in the coming years.

According to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, its recently updated global lithium ion battery study puts the market at nearly $9 billion by 2015, up from $1.5 billion. Growth could exceed $50 billion by 2020.

“We still expect the global market for lithium ion batteries to reach $9 billion by 2015. Although forecasts for many existing programs have been downgraded, there are new EV models coming out in Asia, especially hybrids. Some OEMs have lowered their market forecasts for electric and hybrid vehicles, and some new automakers have already failed. But we still expect strong growth in the e-mobility battery market going forward,” co-author of the study Thomas Wendt stated.

The study further estimates cars and light commercial vehicles will account for 85% of the total lithium ion battery systems in 2015. This presupposes a surge in electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars production up to 4 million annually.

Cars and light commercial vehicles will account for a large portion of lithium ion systems, but the study also found the truck market will be electrified. Class 3 and class 4 pick up and delivery trucks will be outfitted with battery systems.

Despite the fact some Japanese and Korean automakers might opt for the alternative nickel-metal-hybrid batteries in their hybrid vehicles, the study states this won’t damper the growth of the lithium ion battery or its penetration into those markets.

More than a hundred companies globally are in the lithium ion market with production capacity expected to be twice as large by 2015.

According to Thomas Wendt, “Some battery producers have excessively grand expansion plans. The ramifications are already being felt and [lithium ion battery] suppliers have started to cut their forecasts. This is why we’ll see considerable market consolidation going forward. Pricing pressures will certainly increase.”

By 2015, Roland Berger sees a lot of changes in the lithium ion battery market. According to the study, the OEM pricing range will be around $237/kWh for high energy packs. In addition, Roland Berger predicts the top seven lithium ion battery producers will be:

  • AESC (20%)

  • LG Chem (15%)

  • Panasonic/Sanyo (13%)

  • A123 (11%)

  • SB LiMotive (9%)

  • GS Yuasa (6%)

  • Toshiba (3%)