Battery Power - March/April 2013 - (Page 14)
Lead Acid Batteries: A Proven Technology Marches Forward
Anu Elizabeth Cherian, Senior Industry Analyst
Frost & Sullivan
The lead acid battery market is constantly faced with threats,
from a market standpoint as well as from competitors’ technology threatening growth in this market. To address these market
constraints, we’ll evaluate the viability of this technology for
the next decade and highlight the end-user segments that are
pertinent to sustaining its growth below.
The Lead Acid Battery – The Technology Edge for
There are at least 10 reasons one can think of in terms of
the lead acid batteries’ ability to withstand market pressures for
another decade, at the very minimum.
1. The primary advantage of the lead acid battery comes
from a cost standpoint. It is the cheapest and most available
battery chemistry existing on the market. Its current price is at
its lowest ever due to the fact that this technology uses easily
available raw materials.
2. The market has maintained a long standing history in
terms of outstanding performance and reliability.
3. The product has garnered means of easy outsourcing of
manufacturing through Asia Pacific and regions where the combination of raw materials accessibility and cheap labor has aided
in market growth.
4. Its profound market presence in virtually every end-user
segment has made this technology even more popular in the
5. The lead acid battery has been tried and proven by many
end-user verticals for several years.
6. It has become the driving force to establish and safeguard data integrity, which in many cases could easily be lost
in the event of a sudden power interruption. Data protection
has become key in the world of commerce and has enabled the
globe to interact in a more efficient manner through the information super highway. Therefore, uninterruptible power supplies
(UPSs) that use stationary lead acid batteries have indeed paved
the way for long term growth of this market.
7. Despite its market maturity, revenues have not declined
in normal economic conditions indicating a mature market that
continues to grow.
8. Despite the fact that many users express intense dissatisfaction with the lead acid battery, they are also not willing
to take a risk in investing in a new technology on a standalone
basis. Hence, they make calculated investments in some cases,
holding on to the basic lead acid battery-based back up power
infrastructure while experimenting on new technology.
9. Competition from upcoming battery technologies has not
provided a strong enough threat to be disruptive enough to phase
out lead acid batteries in the next decade.
10. The technology is simple, competition is profound and
Battery Power • March/April 2013
steady market growth indicates it is certainly not on the decline
for the upcoming decade. The benefits of a simple technology,
market competition and price wars are essential to establishing
the kind of dynamics required to sustain market growth.
Technology Tweaks that Would Benefit the
Lead Acid Battery
In evaluating the lead acid battery technology, there are a few
areas that could essentially provide another boost to this technology to ensure its stronghold on the traditional end-user segments
lasts longer, as outlined below.
• The lead acid battery could certainly benefit from an increase
in its energy density to bring it on par with that of lithium ion.
• Another area of significant change would be in the power
density. Right now, the lead acid battery is very low on power
density and it absolutely could use a technology tweak to be
able to sustain moments of high demand for power.
• The size and weight reduction emanating from a change from
liquid/gel based components to solid and safe alternatives
could significantly enable space savings, an area of concern
for the end-user.
• A factor that was indeed causing a lot of tension in the lead
acid battery market was the environmental viability of the
battery, considering its unsafe disposal. This concern has been
circumvented by the remarkable initiative taken by
manufacturers to intensify recycling of lead acid. They have
also increased the awareness and provided incentives for endusers to be cognizant of the environment.
• Increasing product differentiation as well as price incentives
could further enhance market growth.
Stationary Lead Acid Market Statistics
The latest research in the stationary lead acid battery market
has indicated a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8
percent from 2010 to 2017. Steady growth projections indicate
the market faces little threat from competing technologies during this forecast period.
The areas of strongest growth are in the UPS market as well
as the telecommunications market. These markets are key in
upholding the growth of the global UPS market. While around
60 percent of the revenues are from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales, aftermarket sales account for the remaining 40 percent of this market.
Other Lead Acid Battery Markets
In addition to the stationary lead acid battery market, the
motive as well as the starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery market are markets that hold growth potential for lead
acid batteries. Despite the heavy interest in pursuing cleaner
mechanisms for automotives, the lead acid battery is most commonly employed for 90 percent of the automobiles worldwide in
conjunction with the combustion engine. Hence, the upcoming
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Battery Power - March/April 2013
Battery Power - March/April 2013
GTS and RGIS Launch Battery Test & Replace Service for Mobile Devices
Leyden Energy Raises $10 Million for Commercialization of Silicon Anode Mobile Pouch Cells and Automotive Start-Stop Batteries
Circuit Protection Approach for High-Rate Discharge Li-Ion Battery Application
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Simplify Peripheral Connectivity and Extend Battery Life in Mobile Applications
Managing Lithium-Chemistry Batteries: It’s Mostly
About Their Temperature
Lead Acid Batteries: A Proven Technology Marches
Charging & Testing
Power Supplies & Conversion
ICs & Semiconductors
Battery Power - March/April 2013