Future of Nickel Battery Markets Look Bright

Environment-friendly hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) could see significant uptake in the future, especially given the growing environmental and energy concerns.

Published: 08-Jan-2008

This Frost & Sullivan research titled World Nickel Battery Markets provides in-depth analysis of market revenues, unit shipment analysis and detailed market analysis of world nickel battery market, highlighting the drivers and restraints for the market. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the nickel battery market based on NiCd and NiMH battery chemistries separately, along with the trend in both chemistries.

Rugged Nature and High Temperature Tolerance Encourage Demand

Considering their rugged nature and low maintenance profile, nickel batteries are ideally suited for applications that involve harsh environments and exposure to high temperatures. Nickel batteries are preferred in applications such as emergency lighting, back-up solutions, safety alarms in locomotive works, power tools, and the like. Although new battery chemistries have emerged to replace nickel batteries in these applications, the former are not as rugged as the latter. Given this, nickel batteries are expected to be more widely used during the forecast period. Furthermore, ongoing expansion of rail networks along with increased usage of trams in many developed countries, specifically in Europe, will encourage demand for this battery.

However, regulations and restrictions on usage of nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries are a significant restraint on the overall nickel battery market. NiCd batteries are nonbiodegradable as they employ the toxic heavy metal cadmium. This makes them a threat to the environment and thereby humans and animals as well. "The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has declared NiCd to contain hazardous or potentially hazardous materials and has included this battery under the regulation of Resource Conservation and Regulation Act (RCRA)," notes the analyst of this research service. "This regulates the proper transportation, storage and disposal of NiCd batteries such that they do not pose environmental hazards."

Emerging Automotive Applications hold Growth Potential

Environment-friendly hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) could see significant uptake in the future, especially given the growing environmental and energy concerns. These vehicles are more dependent on batteries as compared to conventional vehicles and the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) chemistry, being a safe, reliable and proven technology, is widely used for HEVs and EVs. Moreover, NiMH batteries are inexpensive and also stable at higher temperatures. Although there is considerable R&D and testing on the usage of lithium-ion batteries in these applications, NiMH will continue to be widely used for EV and HEV applications.

Among the application segments, consumer application contributed the largest to the world nickel battery market in 2006, accounting to nearly 41.6 percent of total nickel battery market revenues. Industrial applications followed next with a revenue share of 24.5 percent. "Going forward, NiMH batteries are expected to witness growthduring the short and medium term of the forecast period, while the NiCd battery market is likely to decline throughout the forecast period," says the analyst. "However, the NiMH battery market is also expected to decline by the end of forecast period due to the competition from other battery chemistries."

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