Automotive batteries are rechargeable batteries that supplies electric energy to automobiles, most essentially for automotive SLI (starting, lighting and ignition) system. Automotive batteries also provide power to automobile accessories such as radio, music players, air conditioners, wipers and charging plugs. Furthermore, the battery also serves as voltage stabilizer by absorbing abnormal transient voltages in vehicle electrical system. Based on the chemical composition the automotive battery market is broadly categorized in five different market segment, lithium ion (Li-ion), nickel–metal hydride (Ni-MH), nickel–cadmium (Ni-Cd), gasoline and lead-acid. The energy density per unit weight (Wh/kg) is highest in Gasoline batteries followed by Li-ion and Ni-MH and is least in Lead-Acid batteries. Lead-Acid batteries are an aging automotive battery technology. Due to its simple or mature technology coupled with fluctuating lead prices in last few years, much of the automotives batteries research is focused on drifting away from this technology.
On the basis of application automotive battery market can be broadly categories as: two/three wheeler’s battery, car and light van’s battery, heavy motor vehicle (HMV’s) batteries and electric or hybrid vehicle’s battery. The automotive batteries’ capacity is defined by size, numbers of plate and strength and volume of electrolyte. Some of the most commonly used battery current rating standards are cold cracking amperes (CCA), reserve capacity (RC), Amp-Hour (AH) and power (Watts).
Automotive battery market is expected to witness a moderate but steady growth in coming years North America is the largest automotive battery market followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. The growth rate is highest in Asia Pacific and is expected to be even higher during the forecasted period. Such high growth rate is attributed to the emergence of China as a global hub for automobile industry and increasing demands of vehicles from some of the other Asian countries such as India Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. The increasing demand in these countries is attributed to the growing infrastructure and rising disposable income of middle class. Ni-MH segment is expected to experience highest growth rate followed by lead acid and lithium-ion segments.
Fuel cell technology based automobile batteries are expected to gain wider acceptance in global market mainly due to their increased output efficiency and reduction in the pollutant bi-products. This is due to the fact that these batteries use harmless product such as oxygen and hydrogen as fuel and hence acceptance of this technology by the vehicle makers is expected to drive the global automotive batteries market.
Increasing research and development in the field of battery technology for fuel cell based automobile and development of nano technology based lithium batteries along with government initiatives for electric vehicles around globe are some of the major drivers for automotive battery market, whereas constant fluctuation in the cost of raw materials such as nickel and lead, pose significant challenge for the industry.
Some of the major players operating in the automotive battery market include Camel Group Co. Ltd., Douglas Battery, East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., Exide Technologies, Fengfan Co. Ltd., Johnson Controls Inc., THE FURUKAWA BATTERY CO., LTD., Zhejiang Haijiu Battery Co. Ltd, Zhejiang Narada Power Source Co. Ltd., FIAMM S.p.A., Chaowei Power Holdings Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., Shandong Sacred Sun Power Sources Co. Ltd., GS Yuasa Corporation and Shandong Sacred Sun Power Sources Co. Ltd.