Large and Advanced Battery Technology and Markets

Published - May 2000| Analyst - Donald Saxman| Code - FCB024B
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Report Highlights

  • Large-and-advanced batteries represent a $2.2 billion market growing at an average annual rate of over 7%. Thereafter, as new applications develop, growth should accelerate, growing at an average annual rate of nearly 17% through 2010 to a total of $7.3 billion.
  • Utility load leveling batteries could grow to an annual $15 million market by 2010.
  • The U.S. uninterruptible power supply battery market is currently worth $400 million and is expected to grow to $540 million by 2005, and to $655 million by 2010.
  • Average annual large-and-advanced U.S. lithium-ion battery sales are currently $350 million and will balloon to over $835 million in 2005.


The designation "large-and-advanced battery" is an arbitrary designation developed by BCC, Inc. to describe a market-driven battery classification. As defined in this report, large-and-advanced batteries must have three attributes:


  • They must be secondary (rechargeable) electrochemical energy storage devices (batteries);
  • They must be "large" in terms of size and energy capacity; and
  • They must be technologically advanced.


This definition excludes all primary (nonrechargeable) batteries and all lead-acid automotive batteries, as well as all A, C, and D cylindrical batteries and button cells. Nonautomotive lead-acid batteries are included. Many portable product batteries, including computer power, portable tools, and battery-powered lawn care products are included.

Several entirely new classes of advanced batteries have been commercialized during the last 10 years, including nickel-metal hydride, secondary lithium, and secondary zinc-air designs. Meanwhile, improved microelectronic battery charger controller technology is allowing the commercialization of whole new classes of batteries (notably rechargeable alkaline and lithium-ion) and is improving the marketability of existed battery systems (notably nickel-cadmium and lead-acid). This in turn has allowed the commercialization of portable products that would be impossible without improved battery chargers, including portable computers and portable cordless hand tools.

As this synergy continues to develop, there are areas where the advanced battery industry could experience the explosive growth usually associated with emerging industries. Battery designers (mainly electrochemists) and battery charger designers (mainly electrical and electronics specialists) will continue to operate together, with new batteries and new battery chargers evolving together to produce even higher performance products.


This report begins with a discussion of general battery technology. The following kinds of large-and-advanced batteries are discussed:

Widely used large battery systems


  • Nonautomotive lead-acid batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries


Recently commercialized large battery systems


  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Aluminum-air batteries
  • Aluminum-sulfur batteries


Developmental large battery systems


  • High temperature batteries
  • Redox and flow batteries
  • Metal-air batteries
  • Nickel-iron batteries
  • Conductive polymer lithium batteries
  • Exploratory batteries



This report is based on literature review, patent examination, and discussions with commercial and government sources. Throughout the report, past market data is expressed in current dollars, and estimates and predictions in constant year-2000 dollars. Historic markets and predicted wholesale-level (industry sales) markets for 2000, 2005, and 2010 are provided. Ten year forecasts are provided to emphasize predicted EV and developmental battery growth.

Most market summaries are based on a consensus scenario that assumes no unanticipated technical advances and no unexpected legislation. Advanced markets, including electric vehicles, utility load leveling, and developmental military markets are characterized by pessimistic, consensus, and optimistic market scenarios. Totals are rounded to the nearest million dollars. When appropriate, information from previously published sources is identified to allow a more detailed examination by clients.


This report's project analyst, Donald Saxman, writes and edits the BCC monthly Battery/EV Technology News and has founded several other BCC newsletters. Saxman has over 15 years' experience in market analysis, technical writing, and newsletter editing. Since 1983, he has operated as a technical market consultant and subcontractor to BCC. Previous experience includes supervision of a quality control laboratory at a major secondary lead refinery, experience as an analytical chemist at a hazardous waste testing service, product assurance manager for a space station life support system project, and project manager for year-2000 software remediation projects.

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