Global demand for lithium batteries which power xEVs (plug-in-vehicles) is predicted to reach 1.7 billion units in 2016, and increase to two billion units in 2017, according to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce.
EnergyTrend reports that China has taken measures to curb excessive subsidy payments to domestic xEV manufacturers during the second half of 2016.
The delay of these payments and an investigation into possible subsidy fraud had a direct impact on the short-term demand for xEV batteries. This has since been resolved, and EnergyTrend predicts that the market for lithium batteries will make a full recovery.
Research manager Duff Lu at EnergyTrend said: “China has become a major xEV battery market. As the share of xEVs in the country’s passenger vehicle market expands, demand for cylindrical lithium cells will also grow.”
Despite this recovery, the supply of cylindrical cells for notebook batteries will be strained next year, because battery vendors will be preoccupied with the demand for xEV batteries, EnergyTrend’s report also mentioned.
“Polymer and prismatic cells are increasingly replacing cylindrical cells in the notebook battery market. Also, battery makers have transferred more of their production capacity to meeting the growing demand for xEV batteries. This in turn will put a lot pressure on the supply of cylindrical cells for notebook batteries in the future,” Lu added.
EnergyTrend also estimates that global demand for notebook batteries for 2016 will total around 440 million units, with cylindrical cells expected to account for 44 per cent of this year’s global notebook battery demand. Their share will gradually shrink to 35 per cent in 2017.