World Nickel Battery Markets The industrial segment is traditionally the largest end-user of Nickel-cadmium and Nickel-metal hydride batteries and continues to prefer nickel batteries. This is because they are inexpensive, resist abuse, have high discharge rates and can be used over wide temperature ranges.
“However, across numerous other applications, nickel-based batteries are slowly losing out to lithium-based technologies due to lack of product advancements and technological innovations,” notes Frost & Sullivan Analyst C. R. Malavika. “As novel product applications demand miniaturization along with greater energy density and longer runtimes, nickel -batteries are being substituted in many medical, military and telecom applications.”
In addition, increasing prices of raw materials are forcing a rise in production costs. While manufacturers need to raise prices to sustain themselves, price competition from Chinese vendors, who have lower production costs, limits their profits.
Manufacturers need to think of expanding outside Europe and North America to expand geographical operations and new applications for nickel batteries. While electric vehicles are fast becoming a big market for Nickel-metal hydride batteries, other areas such as hobby batteries, telecom and electric bikes are also likely to provide market potential. “Asia Pacific, especially China, is considered to have a lot of potential in terms of overall growth of the nickel batteries market in these regions,” comments C. R. Makavika.
Faced with declining market share, nickel battery manufacturers must undertake immense amount of research and development to stay competitive. Investing in R&D is likely to help develop an enhanced nickel battery in terms of chemistry or form factor.
Information is from “World Nickel Battery Market” by Frost & Sullivan, 05/05, http://www.batteries.frost.com. +