The global air electrode battery market is expected to witness lucrative growth over the forecast period. The key factors attributing to increase in market growth are the volatility in crude oil prices coupled with new favorable rules and regulations, increase in use of renewable sources of energy, and changes in weather conditions.
Air electrode batteries have high electrochemical performance, which delivers high energy density at low production cost. Benefits associated with air electrode batteries are longer life span and the ability to perform better, which are expected to replace ion batteries over the forecast period. Other benefits of these batteries include ease-of-disposal, transportation, and increased safety during usage. In addition, they have high storage capacity and less environmental impact as compared to recently used ion batteries.
The market is segmented on the basis of cell type as primary (non-rechargeable), secondary (rechargeable), and fuel cells (mechanical rechargeable). The raw materials used during manufacturing of these batteries include zinc, lithium, magnesium, iron, aluminum, and sodium. Primary cells are disposable in nature and cannot be recharged. Primary cells are cost-effective and require less maintenance. Applications of primary cells include home appliances, flashlights, toys, etc. The two leading manufacturers of these types of cells are Energizer and Duracell.
To fulfill the rising demand of increased efficiency coupled with cost-effectiveness, metal air batteries can be used. These batteries are reported to generate high energy with low maintenance cost and have a long work life. All zinc air batteries show enhanced performance, low resistance, improved charge-discharge profile, low cost, and environmental friendliness. In these batteries, the catalyst comes in direct contact with the air cathode, thus improving the movement of electrons between the cathode and external circuits and show stable charge-discharge cycle.
The market can also be further segmented on the basis of application. These include medical devices, automobile industry, military devices, telecom, and railway remote signaling. In automobile industry, demand is increasing for batteries with less volume and weight. Oxygen is the widely used material as cathode. Conventional batteries use stored oxygen, which holds around 60-80% of total battery weight. On the other hand, air electrode batteries use ambient oxygen present in air resulting in overall decrease of battery weight with similar oxygen percentage as in conventional batteries.
Geographically, North America holds the largest market share in air electrode batteries market. Presence of new technology, high level of R&D expenditure, rising consumer awareness about latest technologies, and favorable government initiatives pertaining to environmental and sustainable development are some factors favoring market growth.
Asia Pacific is expected to be one of the fastest growing regional markets over the forecast period. High economic growth in countries, such as India, Japan, and China, are expected to provide lucrative growth platform for this industry over the forecast period. China is known to be one of the largest battery markets around the globe owing to factors such as availability of raw material at low prices, rising consumer demand, and high amount of companies in these regions. China also undertakes R&D initiatives to develop cheap alternatives. Heavy usage of power grids and unmet need for energy storage in Asian countries are other factors pertaining to rising demand of air electrode batteries.
The key players of this market are Phinergy, Hitachi Maxell Ltd., Volkswagen Ag, AMPTRAN motor Corporation, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., BASF Global, Poly Plus Battery Co. and Chem Co., Ltd. Changan Automobile Group, Arotech Corporation, Tesla Motors, BMW Ag, Bluecar Capricorn Venture Partners, Duracell, Daimler Ag Eos, General Motors, Hitachi Maxell Ltd., Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor, Mitsubishi Motors, Rayovac, Siepac, Sony Corporation, Terra Motors, Toyota Motor Corporation, Zaf Energy System, Fiat, Panasonic Energy, and LG.
Some of the new technologies developed by the key players include Protected Lithium Electrode (PLE) by Poly Plus Battery Company. PLE is a water stable technology, which uses Li-water, Li-air, and Li-Sulfur batteries. It results in almost 50% reduction in weight and 50% reduction in cost as compared to Li ion batteries. They are also tested and approved by the U.S. army CERDEC.
Phinergy recently demonstrated a new metal air battery car that was reported to run around 1,800 km without recharging. The battery was produced using the technology of twin battery solution, which comprised aluminum and lithium ion batteries.
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