Battery pack is the most essential element for any automotive vehicle. It stores electricity, which is used for the initial ignition of the vehicle engine. Due to the rapid growth in sales of electric buses and other automotive vehicles, the automotive battery market has also gained pace, because of the large-sized batteries required in the automotive vehicles. The application of batteries in the vehicles is altering the business landscape, at technology, supplier, and regional level. This will have major implications not only for large battery corporations, but also for all those involved in the battery production value chain.
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An electric vehicle battery or traction battery is a battery used to power the propulsion of battery electric vehicles. Vehicle batteries are usually secondary or rechargeable batteries. The application of traction batteries are in the sectors including electric transportation vehicles, electric commercial and private vehicles, and electric goods carrier vehicles. Batteries used in automobiles are generally SLI batteries i.e. starting, lighting, and ignition. These batteries are designed to provide power for a limited time period and not used to run the vehicle. Deep cycle batteries are used instead of SLI batteries for hybrid vehicle applications.
A battery module consists of battery cells, sensors, battery management system (BMS) and contactors enclosed in a casing. A battery cell consists of electrodes, separators and electrolyte. The types of batteries used include lead-acid, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, zinc-air, and molten salt. Lithium ion battery is the most commonly used rechargeable battery. In 2015, Asia-Pacific was the largest manufacturer of Li-ion batteries, followed by North America and Europe. The anode or negative electrode is typically made of graphite, but the cathode or positive electrode’s chemistry varies widely. As much as any other factor, the cell’s capacity is determined by its components. The critical feature is the rate at which the cathode can absorb and emit free lithium ions. Some types of cathode include cobalt dioxide, nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM), nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA), manganese oxide spinel (MnO), and iron phosphate (FePo).
The decreasing crude oil reserves and environmental impact of the conventional vehicles are the major factors driving the growth of the automotive battery market. With the decreasing crude reserves, the demand for economical transportation technologies has attracted investment in this market. The government of major countries have encouraged adoption of hybrid vehicles that utilize the electric battery. The stringent environmental regulations in the European Union have encouraged the use of battery run vehicles. These factors are expected to create growth opportunities for the automotive battery market.
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