Power Electronics

U.S. Demand for Batteries to Reach $16.8 Billion in 2012

U.S. Demand for Primary and Secondary Batteries will increase 2.5% percent annually to $16.8 billion in 2012, according to “Batteries,” a new study from Cleveland-based The Freedonia Group. The study also says growth will be supported by healthy demand for replacement batteries in many battery-driven electronic products and a shift in the product mix toward higher-priced, better-performing batteries. Furthermore, following some short-term weakness, an improved outlook for fixed investment and motor vehicle production will spur demand for batteries in the industrial and motor vehicle markets. Growth in hybrid and electric vehicle production also will provide opportunities. However, battery demand will increase less rapidly than during the 2002 to 2007 period, when sharp price increases for battery raw materials boosted value gains. Growth will slow as lead-acid battery prices moderate and costs associated with li-ion and other advanced battery chemistries continue to drop.

Sales of primary batteries are expected to rise 3% annually to $5.8 billion in 2012. Gains will be fueled by strong replacement demand spurred by the expansion of the number of battery-powered portable devices in use. Also, a shift in the product mix toward more powerful and more expensive batteries will boost value gains. The continued development of new chemistries, such as nickel oxyhydroxide, also will provide opportunities. Alkaline batteries will remain the dominant primary battery type, although demand for other battery chemistries, such as primary lithium and zinc-air, will grow faster through 2012. Consumer applications will continue to account for more than two-thirds of all primary battery sales in 2012. In addition, the growing number of people 65 years of age and older will drive demand for consumer hearing aid batteries and primary lithium batteries for implantable medical devices.

U.S. demand for secondary batteries is projected to rise to $11 billion in 2012. The growing market for hybrid vehicles will fuel demand for NiMH and li-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries will continue to lead the secondary battery market, accounting for nearly 65% of sales in 2012. However, demand for NiMH and lithium-based rechargeable batteries, used in portable devices and hybrid vehicles, will increase faster than sales of lead-acid batteries over the forecast period.

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