Global automotive manufacturers continue their efforts to produce more vehicles utilizing electric drivetrains. Most OEMs have introduced battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models, almost all of which use Li-ion batteries for onboard energy storage. Increasingly, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are beginning to use Li-ion batteries instead of nickel-metal hydride, and now stop-start vehicles (SSVs) using Li-ion batteries are entering the market.
When designing electric or electrically assisted powertrains, OEMs continue to tailor their design approach to each model, factoring in not only economy, but also vehicle range, driver experience, and performance.
The immediate future looks to be secure for the Li-ion chemistry, and the move now is to continue to reduce costs while increasing energy density and vehicle range. These factors will lead to a greater percentage of BEVs being equipped with larger battery packs that can meet the standard that Tesla has established for vehicle range.
According to Navigant Research, the global market for Li-ion batteries in light duty and medium/heavy duty vehicles is expected to grow from $7.8 billion in 2015 to $30.6 billion in 2024.
Regional variations in demand remain for different types of electrically assisted vehicles. North America is projected remain the biggest market for PHEV batteries, while BEV sales are expected to increase in Europe. The emergence of EVs in Asia Pacific will become more important for global automotive Li-ion battery demand across all categories toward the end of the forecast period.
This $30.6 billion figure could be higher if emerging 48V micro-hybrid technology delivers on its promise of fuel efficiency at a low cost increment and a significant number of OEMs choose to implement it with Li-ion battery packs. In addition, the expected steady lowering of per-kilowatt-hour costs will encourage the PEV market if manufacturers pass the savings on to customers. Overall, the Li-ion battery capacity serving the automotive market (including light and heavy duty vehicles) is expected to grow from about 15.9 GWh in 2015 to 93.1 GWh in 2024. This increase represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7%.