New classes of advanced batteries have been commercialized during the last 10 years, including Nickel-metal hydride, secondary Lithium and Zinc-air. Improved micro-electronic battery charger controller technology is allowing the commercialization of whole new classes of batteries (notably rechargeable Alkaline and Lithium-ion) and is improving the marketability of existing battery systems (notably Nickel-cadmium and Lead-acid).
Lead-acid and Nickel-metal hydride will dominate the HEV/EV market while Nickel-metal hydride battery sales will drop with lithium technologies rising. Stationary and UPS applications (not shown in the chart) will grow more slowly over the period from 2003 - 2008.
(Report Highlights are from “GB-197N Large and Advanced Battery Technology and Markets” by Sandrine Colson-Inam, Ph.D., Business Communications Company, website: www.bccresearch.com) +
(July 2004) Energizer Holdings wins a patent dispute over importation of certain Alkaline batteries into the United States. A U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that the import and sale of zero-mercury-added Alkaline batteries be barred. The International Trade Commission will make a final ruling by September 2, 2004.
(July 2004) According to the Roland Berger report, as reported by the Xinhua news agency in China on June 20th, China has produced the world’s most batteries.
China is said to also be Number 4 in the world for producing cars. The Report also stated that Ford
’s purchases in China would top US$10 billion in a few years.
(July 2004) BST Systems, Inc., a NASA and defense contractor, is investigated by the U.S. Federal authorities.
BST has issued a statement which reads, “BST is cooperating fully to respond to the investigators’s inquiries and at this time has no further comment.”
BST is probably best known for its Silver-zinc battery which powered NASA’s Pathfinder (rover) that landed on Mars in 1997.
(July 2004) The European Portable Battery Association’s (EPBA’s) environmental statutory position has SAFT leaving the Association.
“Indeed it has become increasingly difficult to resolve differences between EPBA’s positions, defined by the big primary consumer battery manufacturers and Saft’s ambitious environmental policy promoting the collection and recycling of all its batteries’ technologies,” regrets Francois Bouchon from Saft, former Treasurer of the EPBA.
The European Commission’s proposal would require industry to accept producer responsibility for the collection and recycling of its batteries.
(June 2004) Rayovac Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. complete a technology and manufacturing agreement to develop and market Rayovac’s I-C3 (In-Cell Charge) technology for Nickel-metal hydride batteries.
The technology allows Nickel-metal hydride batteries to be recharged in as little as 15 minutes. Sanyo’s research development group has a goal to further refine and develop the I-C3 technology by optimizing Sanyo’s high-capacity technology in order to extend it to other applications and battery sizes.
(June 2004) Exide Technologies has Joint Plan of Reorganization confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware.
Under this plan, Exide’s debt will be reduced by $1.3 billion. Exide’s existing stock will be cancelled and no distribution will be given to current shareholders. A quantity of 22.5 million new shares of common stock will be issued to the Company’s pre-petition secured lenders, representing 90% of the Company’s common stock. Exide’s new common stock and warrants are expected to be listed on the NASDAQ National Market. For additional information on the reorganization plan, see Exide’s website.
(April 2004) New batteries power sales
The manufacture of battery packs, with many cells has a smaller margin than sales of conventional cells for China manufacturer BYD. Net profit for 2003 was up 31 % to 864 million yuan, but the gross profit margin dropped form 14% to 32%. Net operating cash inflow was 422 miullion yuan, up from 318 million yuan.
Lithium-ion battery packs account for 52 % of total turnover for 2003 while nickel based batteries accounted for 30.7 %.
BYD owns 77% of automaker BYD Auto Company which contributed 2.5% of total turnover. The plan is to increase BYD’s share in BYD Auto to 92% for an additional 52.5 million yuan.
The company declared a dividend of 0.512 yuan compared with 0.284 yuan last year.
www.thestandard.com, February 22, 2004
(March 2004) GP Batteries International and Energizer Holdings agree to a patent cross-licensing.
The cross-licensing provides all parties to operate freely throughout the world. This ends the legal dispute over zero mercury-added Alkaline batteries.
Last June Energizer Holdings and Eveready Battery Company initiated a U.S. International Trade Commission action against a number of companies, including GP Batteries, for allegedly infringing on their battery patent.
(January 2004) GP Batteries reports at the end of November 2003 that second quarter profit rose by half to S$12.56 million.
Revenue was up by 25 percent at S$214 million in this time
Turnover grew by 23.3% and operating profit improved significantly with overall operating margin increased from 5% to about 6%. Net profit grew 55.6%.
The increase in turnover was mainly due to the continued increase in sales of Nickel-metal hydride and Lithium rechargeable batteries and the consolidation of sales of Zhongyin Ningbo Battery. GP Batteries continues to invest aggressively in advertising and promotional activities in China to further strengthen its market position.
(Dec. 2003) GP Batteries reports second quarter profit rise of S$12.56 million
. Revenue was up by 25% at S$214 million (Singapore currency) during this period. Net profit grew by 55.3 percent. However, raw material prices for batteries have been rising so battery prices may be increasing in the near future. Turnover grew by 23,3%; this increase was mainly due to the continued increase in sales of Nickel-metal hydride and Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and the consolidation of sales of Zhongyin Ningo Battery, a 75 percent owned subsidiary acquired by GP Batteries in November 2002. Sales of Lithium-ion batteries continued to increase; however, its volume was still behind expectation because of the outbreak of SARS earlier in the year.
GP is also continuing to aggressively defend itself against action initiated by Energizer relating to patent infringement in the U.S.
(Dec. 2003) South Korea spends US$1billion since 1999 for factories to make batteries for portable electronics
. By 2005, both Samsung
and LG Chem
, Korean battery markets expect to each have a 20% share of this battery market. The Korean government has picked batteries as one of ten strategic products to spur the country’s economic growth.
The biggest challengers to the Korean effort will probably be the Chinese companies. BYD already has taken 15% of the global market.
(December,2003) U.S. battery and fuel cell materials demand are projected to read $3 billion in 2007; this is a 6.2 percent increase. The growing popularity of high -drain devices such as digital cameras and 3G (third-generation) wireless phones will lead to an acceleration in U.S. battery production, spurring materials demand. Fuel cell output will climb tenfold, resulting in stellar gains in associated materials consumption.
Carbon graphite and polymers will record some of the strongest increases through 2007. Even the market for nanomaterials with the potential to dramatically improve battery and fuel cell performance will climb at a fast pace as well.
Metals will continue to account for more than half of all battery and fuel cell materials consumption in 2007. Healthy sales conditions for small volume metals such as lithium, titanium and platinum will stimulate overall metals demand. Market gains for chemicals (i.e. lithium salts, manganese dioxide and solvents) account for the second largest share of total materials demand.
Electrodes will remain by far the largest functional category for materials. Strong increases will be registered in the battery market by materials used in separators, electrolytes and other functions such as catalysts and performance additives. These items are the focus of research and development activity aimed at reducing manufacturing costs and improving product performance.
Information is from Battery & Fuel Cell Materials (published 10/2003, 245 pages) by The Freedonia Group, Inc. The cost is $3,800. Information may be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com
(Oct. 2003) Nokia encounters more problems with fake batteries.
In early October, two individuals in the Netherlands and one in Vietnam reported injuries when using their Nokia phones with non-original batteries. To date, there have been 20 registered reports of such incidents. The Finnish company issued a press release in February 2002 telling consumers to be aware of non-original mobile phone batteries.
Malaysia has also been plagued with imitation batteries over the past three or four years. The most recent incident, June 2003, involved an 11 year old boy who suffered injuries to his face when imitation batteries inside the toy exploded. The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Mohd Yassin stated that retailers and users have been conned into buying the imitations which look very similar to the original batteries. He suggests that a regulation on international safety standards may soon be introduced for locally manufactured and imported batteries.
David White, Energizer South Asian Regional Vice-president, has deep concern about the imitation batteries and states that Energizer loses about eight percent revenue in its 70 percent market share because of counterfeit batteries. (Statement referenced in “Imitation batteries in the market” by Carol Muruglah, New Straits Times, Johor Baru, 10/03)
In the Philippines in early October, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group seized 25 million pesos of fake batteries in Manila.
(Oct. 2003) Electrovaya receives major contract from NASA.
The company received a US$2.95 million contract to provide its high-energy Lithium-ion SuperPolymerR
power system as a power source for the space suits astronauts wear during their space walk missions outside the spacecraft. Dr. Eric Darcy, NASA Mission Manager, noted “Electrovaya was selected on the basis of its performance, reliability and safety features providing the best value to the Government.” Electrovaya, Inc. is not a U.S. company; it is based in Canada.
(Oct. 2003) Energizer Holdings, Inc. sells lawsuit against Powermax Battery (USA) Inc
. The case has been settled under confidential terms. Powermax owned two U.S. Trademark registrations for EVERMAX for a variety of goods and such registrations have now been expressly abandoned by Powermax.
(Oct. 2003) Alcatel sells SAFT batteries division to Doughty Hanson in the United Kingdom.
The sale price is 390 Euros (US$385 million). SAFT manufacturers batteries for the industrial and telecom sectors in the world. It employs 4,000 people at 14 sites in eight countries. In 2002, SAFT’s revenues were 550 million Euros. The sale must be submitted for regulatory approval.
(Sept. 03) GP Batteries Seeks Image With Name Brand
GP International Ltd. says its goal is to turn its batteries into a household name just as Duracell, Panasonic and Energizer have done.
GP sees grow in the Malaysian market, especially for rechargeables. The Company will step up its production in Malaysia by 15% from its current 10 million units monthly.
Director and general manager Tsang Kwan Lung stated at a media briefing on September 19th that the import duty of batteries would be lowered to between zero and five percent from the current 45 percent under the Asian Free Trade Area in 2004. With this fact in mind, Tsang said, “We are targeting Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, which have a high import duty now.”
(Sept. 03) Rayovac joins Gillette and Energizer in the shaving industry
On August 22, Rayovac announced that it would buy Remington Products Company for $165 million from Vestar Capital. Rayovac also assumes Remington’s debt of about $157 million.
This acquisition allows Rayovac to be on the same playing field with rivals - Gillette, which not only markets Duracell batteries but also sells Mach3 razors and Oral-B toothbrushes, and Energizer, which recently purchased the Schick-Wilkinson Sword business from Pfizer, Inc. to add manual razors and blades to its product line.
Remington holds the position as being the top brand in the U.S. electric shave market. Its sales, as of the close of its fiscal year on June 30th, are reported as $360.3 million with net income of $20.2 million. Remington’s main products are: electric rotary and dry shavers, beard and mustache trimmers and hair cut kits.
Rayovac views this purchase as an opportunity to expand internationally. Rayovac’s current sales volume of $1 billion gains approximately 60 percent these sales outside of the United States. Rayovac’s Chairman David Jones made a statement in reference to the purchase and said, “Internationally, we have the opportunity to more aggressively expand the Remington brand name and product offerings into new, underdeveloped regions of the world.”
(August 2003) Gillette, Energizer and Rayovac report on quarterly earnings.
Rayovac - The Company reported its quarterly income fell 72 percent due to restructuring charges. On June 30th, the end of the third quarter, Rayovac posted a profit of $2.9 million comparedwith $10.3 million a year earlier. Excluding $11.1 million in charges to cut costs and relaunch its Alkaline batteries with new pricing, Rayovac had profit of 31 cents/share. Largely due to the recently acquired Varta consumer battery business, sales rose 53.4 percent to $207.7 million from $135.4 million. The Company expects to take charges of $43 million from a restructuring program begun in October 2002. The Company said it will take the last $9 million of those charges in the next (fourth) quarter.
Energizer Holdings - In its third quarter ending June 30th, battery sales fell six percent to $217 million in North America, but international battery sales rose eight percent due to the weakness of the dollar against other currencies.
Gillette - In the second quarter ending June 30th, Duracell reported sales of $432 million, an increase of one percent. A profit of $54 million was 20 percent higher than a year ago. Duracell had strong unit volume gains in North America and Europe; this more than offset the effect of Duracell’s exit from its Carbon-zinc battery businesses in South Africa and the impact of lower prices in North America associated with Duracell’s price-deal realignment initiative. Operating profit and margin improved in the quarter, driven by savings in both sourcing and manufacturing. For the six months, sales of $816 million were up seven percent and profit of $93 million was more than double than that of a year ago.
DaimlerChrysler was named “Environmentalist of the Year.” The award was given by the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) for DaimlerChrysler’s new recycling technology that could significantly reduce the amount of old car parts going to landfills. (08-02BD77-9)
The New Normal
In its midyear roundtable of financial experts, Abby Joseph Cohen said, “There are still a handful of unpleasant surprises coming, mainly form the telecom area.”Since this statement was made many days before the announcement of the Worldcom fraud announcement, BD wonders if inside information may have kept some from investing in WCOM.(07-02BD76-13)
June 24, 2002
German battery maker seeks partnerships Varta AG is seeking partners for its automotive and portable divisions. The move is necessitated by the growing purchasing power of large retail chains and intended to strengthen its business in Asia and the U.S. Automotive and portable batteries are the largest of Varta businesses which altogether produced $26 million in profit from sales of $590 million in 2001. Exide is not considered a contender since they are reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. and their participation would be further complicated by European antitrust limits. Varta is 92% owned by DB Investor , a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. (07-02BD76-12)
May 6, 2002
East Penn named Glenn V. Perrini as Vice President of Sales, Automotive Batteries and Director of Sales, Cables and Diversified Product.
Microporous Products, L.P. welcomes Matthew Wilhjelm to their marketing team.
Midtronics appoints Ron Oritz to Vice President and General Manager. (07-02BD76-3)
GP Batteries reports year end results of March 31, 2002. During the year, GP Batteries’ over all performance was affected by the sluggish demand for electronic products worldwide in the second half of the year. Compared to the previous year, its turnover and profit decreased by 6.8% and 30.2%, respectively. Alkaline 9-Volt batteries recorded a healthy growth of 24% due to strong demand from private-label customers. GP Batteries is cautiously optimistic about its business outlook as there are signs of economic recovery, especially in the OEM market. Demand for Lithium-ion and Nickel-metal hydride is expected to grow. The company will continue to capitalize on the strong growth from private-label customers and develop the China market. They will explore opportunities in electric vehicles, especially for application of their Thin Metal Film (TMF) Lead-acid batteries. (07-02BD76-3)
Arthur D. Little accepts offers for sale of its seven lines of businesses. Five buyers from around the world are in the process of purchasing these businesses for a total of more than $96 million. On April 8th, the sale was approved in federal bankruptcy court in Worchester, Massachusetts; the sale reflected the auction conducted on April 3rd and 4th as part of the Company’s sale under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Arthur D. Little, a 116 year old company was a spin-off of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.(06-02BD75-7)
The market for portable power supplies in the US is projected to increase 7.2 percent per year through 2005 to $10.7 billion. Among the major established products, secondary batteries hold the best prospects going forward, given their leadership position in growth markets such as high-end IT devices. Demand for primary batteries, exposed to more mature product markets and less potential for technological upgrade, will grow at a below-average pace. Portable and micro fuel cells are expected to be sold in commercially significant volumes by mid-decade. On the downside, portable power supply markets will be adversely impacted by slower economic growth than prevailed during the latter 1990s. (Data is from ‘Portable Power Supplies’ by The Freedonia Group, Inc., Tel: 440-684-9600.) +
In other news, former president and chief executive Arthur Hawkins and two other former executives of Exide, Alan Gauthier and Douglas Pearson, are on trial in East St. Louis. They are accused of lying to secure a large contract with Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1994. They are being accused of knowing that substandard batteries were manufactured, chose to conceal the defects and bribed a Sears employee to continue “pushing” the defective batteries. The trial in East St. Louis, Illinois is expected to last three or four months. If convicted, they could possibly face a prison sentence from five to ten years.(05-02 BD74-8)
Exide Technologies applies for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-April. The company has arranged for $415 million in new financing, including $250 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Citicorp USA Inc. and other banks. It also included $165 million in financing provided by Citibank N.A. and other banks for its units outside the U.S. which are not included in the bankruptcy filing. The company said that it elected to file for reorganization because it offered the most efficient way to restructure its balance sheet and access new working capital while continuing to operate in the ordinary course of business. Exide’s bankruptcy filing listed assets of $2.07 billion and total debts of $2.52 as of December 31, 2001. Exide has a potential bidder for buyout. The Triton Partners of New York, a private equity firm, is considering a bid for the company. “Experts say any takeover would likely require a major debt restructuring under bankruptcy court supervision.” “Exide bondholders struggle amid buyout interest” by Dane Hamilton, Reuters, 04/02/02 (05-02 BD74-8)
AER Energy Resources, Inc. announces a new President, Dr. Lawrence A. Tinker. David Dorheim has resigned as President and CEO but will remain a director and a part-time consultant.
Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems LLC names Thomas S. Neslage as President and Chief Operating officer. James K. Greiwe was named Vice President, Product Development. (05-02 BD74-6)
As Technology Advances, Batteries Don’t
Taking a number of loose quotes from less than astute thinkers of our times, this story would have the average citizen believe that most all, if not all, problems can be blamed on the inability of batteries to keep up with technological innovation. For example the director of the Institute for the Future, Paul Saffo states, “They’re holding us back big time.” Had batteries advanced at the pace of the computer processor, “a double-A cell would contain more energy that a tactical nuke.”
Even a supposedly credible member of the MIT faculty, a Professor Donald Sadoway adds, “Within a handful of years, batteries will be powerful and cheap enough to propel a car 250 miles without a recharge. When this happens, automakers will junk the internal combustion engine.”
(BD Ed. note: While most - who have at least a conversational understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and current business forces - would not accept these statements, the average person on the street is left to wonder if he/she was not being led astray by the current battery offerings as presented by less than responsible journalism. Thinking of this type got California’s government into the mess it can’t get out of with ‘ZEVs,’ which also diverted funds to stifle true ecological advancement for the past decade. This battery story exemplifies a real need for accurate and responsible battery, fuel cell and photovoltaic people to get realistic information to voters and taxpayers.) (04-02 BD73-12)
by the Associated Press
carried in The Desert Sun
March 3, 2002, p.D1
C&D Technologies reports earnings of $.16/share for fourth quarter ending January 31st. Last year, January 31, 2001, 4th quarter earnings were $.61/share. The Dynasty segment had a sales decline of 47 percent, when compared to the prior year’s 4th quarter, primarily due to a decrease in battery demand for uninterruptible power supplies as well as telecommunications applications. In the Powercom group, sales fell 40 percent in the same time period. The Company reported that the telecommunications market demand for reserve power systems and batteries remain weak. In Motive Power, sales dropped 31 percent when compared to the prior year’s 4th quarter. (04-02 BD73-6)
ZAP, maker of electric bicycles and other electric scooters, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Company says they will continue to fill current orders and honor warranties during bankruptcy restructuring. ZAP stated that they filed for protection because of falling orders and high costs of protecting their patents.(04-02 BD73-5)
Exide Technologies stock has been de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange as of February 14th, 2002. The Company is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol EXDT.(03-02 BD72-9)
Eagle-Picher Technologies is sued by former employee. The former employee, Rick Peoples, alleges the company manufactured batteries for the U.S. military that did not meet specifications of the contract. The Boeing Co. utilized the batteries as power for the Joint Direct Attack Munition Project; Boeing has stated that they have not had any problems with the subject batteries. Eagle-Picher issued a statement: “Eagle-Picher Technologies stands firmly behind the quality and reliability of its batteries used in various weapons systems...” The U.S. Air Force is sending a review team to check into the allegations.(Feb. 02,BD71-6)
End-users move forward with network deployments despite economic climate. Two new studies released by Infonetics Research today show planned network growth across the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. The research confirms that VPNs and security remain in high demand; deployments of wireless LANs are rapidly ramping, and managed service demand is strong.
Although the troubled global economy and world events in the past year have heavily impacted the networking market, most end-users have adjusted and are moving forward to expand the speed and functionality of their data networks.
“End-users understand that the economy is delicate and unstable now, and many have tightened their belts a bit,” said Jeff Wilson, executive director of Infonetics Research. “They are much more selective about the new technologies, products, and services that claim to have all the answers. They’re still interested in new technologies, but they are primarily looking at technologies that allow them to reduce capital and operational expenditures.”
The studies, Network Technology Adoption Forecasts, US/Canada 2002 and Network Technology Adoption Forecasts, Europe 2002, provide analysis of current and future adoption of core networking technologies, and present a clear picture of how far networking and Internet products and services have penetrated.
Sample data from the studies:
Strong growth is expected for managed security services in the US and Canada:
¨ Small organizations: 28% used managed security in 2001, jumping to 70% in 2006
¨Medium organizations: 20% used managed security in 2001, 45% in 2006
¨Large organizations: 19% used managed security in 2001, 41% in 2006
Upsurge in wireless LAN use in Europe:
¨In Benelux: 9% used wireless LANs in 2001, leaping to 23% in 2006
¨In France: 8% used wireless LANs in 2001, 25% by 2006
¨In Germany: 11% used wireless LANs in 2001, 36% by 2006
¨In Scandinavia: 16% used wireless LANs in 2001, 46% by 2006
¨In the UK: 12% used wireless LANs in 2001, 43% by 2006. (Thanks for the lead, George.)(Feb. 02,BD71-6)
EnerSys Inc. reaches agreement with Energy Storage products group of Invensys plc. of England. The closing of the transaction is expected in the first quarter of 2002. John D. Craig, Chairman, President and CEO of EnerSys states, ...The combining of the U.S.-based EnerSys and the European based Energy Storage products group will result in the world’s largest industrial battery company.
Exide Technologies secures another waiver from its senior lenders through April 12, 2002. The Company was not in compliance with certain covenants contained in its Credit Facility as of September 30, 2001, and secured a waiver through December 28, 2001. Exide has also received notification from the New York Stock Exchange of the possibility that the Company’s stock may be de-listed due to the Company’s current inability to satisfy NYSE listing standards.
GP Batteries International Limited acquires Bolder Technologies Corporation, which recently declared bankruptcy in the U.S. GP Batteries paid US$2.5 million for the acquisition. The new TMF (thin metal film) technology will be used by GP Batteries in offering a emergency starter battery for the automobile industry. The technology has numerous possibilities in high-powered applications , in hybrid electric vehicles and for 36-Volt automotive batteries. Asia Pulse Ltd. 2001, 12/21/01
Johnson Controls reports a slight growth in earnings. The first quarter of fiscal 2002 increased 8% over the prior year’s $3.4 billion. Automotive European sales increased 23 percent, helped by the purchase of the automotive electronic business of Sagem SA last October. Also, sales of automotive batteries in North America were higher than the prior year, primarily due to shipments to new customers. (02-02,BD71-8)
Qualacomm Inc., creator of the next generation network standard, indicated that vendors have begun shipping cellular phones on “3G” network standard in North America. Phones and wireless modems compliant with the 2000 1X standard of the Company’s Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology have begun to be shipped from vendors including Kyocera Corp., LG Electronics Inc. and Sierra Wireless Inc.(Feb. 02,BD71-6)
Sprint and Sanyo Fisher Company provided a preview of their Third-Generation (3G) at the Consumer Electronic’s Show (CES) in January in Las Vegas; the phone is to be available in 2003. Verizon Wireless is also scheduled to launch their 3G upgrades this year.
The expansion of wireless technology applications is listed as one of the key factors in UPS growth.4 “3G” should fit into this application’s category, but only time will tell how many people will upgrade from their cell phones and pagers. After listening to keynote speakers at Power 2001 report on “3G”, a survey of approximately 500 attendees showed that 2/3 of the respondents still thought they preferred using several specialized devices (cell phone, pager, PDA, etc.) rather than one solution. But, the hype is on to produce 3G devices. John Haron, a sales manager in St. Paul, Minnesota for Ultimate Wireless says, “The introduction of 3G into the Twin cities will revolutionize the way we communicate, work and share information.” (BD’s thoughts are that as we continue to have more virtual connectivity, in the process we trade off true interpersonal connectivity- good old fashioned person-to-person information sharing.)(Feb. 02,BD71-6)