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  5. > Analysis of the Global Advanced Lead Acid (ALA) Batteries Market

Technological Evaluation and Assessment of the Threat ALA Batteries Pose to Lithium Ion Batteries

Lead acid (LA) chemistry is one of the oldest, and commercially most well-established, battery technologies. In the past 15–20 years, LA batteries have faced increasing competition from “advanced” battery technologies, perhaps most importantly from lithium ion. In response, the LA battery industry has invested significant R&D resources to improve the technology’s performance and make it more competitive. This study assesses some of the main developments in ALA battery technologies and considers the threat ALA batteries pose to lithium ion batteries. The base year is 2013 and the forecast period ends in 2030.

Key Findings
-The lead acid (LA) battery industry has invested significant resources to improve performance and make the technology more competitive versus “advanced” battery technologies.
-LA technology is the incumbent for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and backup power. ALA batteries reinforce their position by addressing some of LA's performance issues, whilst preserving one the technology's main advantages—low cost.
-Renewable energy (RE) applications, considered a growth market by the industry, may be more challenging for ALA partly because of perceptions that the technology is outmoded. Nevertheless, improvements in cycle life, partial state of charge (PSOC) performance (especially for lead carbon (LC) batteries), and low cost make them a competitive alternative to lithium ion systems.
-ALA batteries are not suitable for electric vehicles (EVs) other than micro and mild hybrids. They do pose an indirect threat to lithium ion EV batteries to the extent that the success of micro and mild hybrid EVs dampens demand for/delays in market penetration of full hybrid EVs (HEVs), plug-in hybrid HEVs (PHEVs), and battery EVs (BEVs).

Context of Study
LA chemistry is one of the oldest, and most commercially established, battery technologies. It has enjoyed particular success in the automotive sector, where it remains the only option for starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) applications. The energy storage (ES) sector has a long history, and it is the incumbent technology in backup power applications, e.g., in the telecommunications industry.

The low cost of LA batteries, excellent recyclability, and the associated consumer confidence that comes with being such a mature technology are significant competitive strengths. These batteries have, however, suffered from some well-known disadvantages, most notably low specific energy and a relatively short cycle life. In the past to years, LA batteries have faced increasing competition from “advanced” battery technologies such as nickel metal hydride, sodium-sulfur systems, and, perhaps most importantly, lithium ion. The development of these systems has primarily been driven by huge growth of interest in EVs and batteries for grid ES (including wind/solar power) as a result of concerns about high oil prices, desire for energy independence, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions linked with global warming. These newer battery technologies have offered better performance than LA on one or both of the key disadvantages, although historically at a significantly higher price point.

In response, the LA battery industry has invested significant R&D resources to both improve performance and make the technology more competitive. Although specific energy remains low, contrary to some expectations that LA batteries would become redundant, the developments that have been made mean LA batteries cannot be overlooked in the new market environment. This study assesses some of the main new developments and considers the threat LA batteries pose to lithium ion batteries.

Table Of Contents

Analysis of the Global Advanced Lead Acid (ALA) Batteries Market
Executive Summary

Key Findings
Context of Study
Scope of Study
Key Definitions
Dashboard of Key Results and Conclusions
Key Results and Conclusions—Discussion
Current Development Status by Technology
Summary of Technical Specifications by Technology—Current Level
Summary of Technical Specifications by Technology—Projected Level to 2030
Matrix of Technology Suitability by Application

Technology Scope of Study

Introduction to VRLA Batteries—Explanation of Basic Principles
Development and Commercialization History—VRLA-AGM and Gel
Overview of the Technology—VRLA-AGM and Gel
Development Status—Current Status of VRLA-AGM
Notable Partnerships—VRLA-AGM
Technical Evaluation vs. Defined Specifications—VRLA-AGM
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Barriers—VRLA-AGM
Overview of the Technology—VRLA-gel
Development Status—Current Status of VRLA-gel
Technical Evaluation vs. Defined Specifications—VRLA-gel
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Barriers—VRLA-gel
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: East Penn Manufacturing
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: EnerSys
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: Exide Technologies
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: FIAMM
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: GS Yuasa
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: Johnson Controls
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: Tianjin Lantian Power Sources Company
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA: Trojan, Battery Company
Key Participant Profiles—VRLA
Overview of the Technology—Enhanced Flooded
Development and Commercialization History—Enhanced Flooded
Development Status—Current Status of Enhanced Flooded
Key Participant Profiles—Enhanced Flooded: Banner Battery
Key Participant Profiles—Enhanced Flooded:Bosch
Key Participant Profiles—Enhanced Flooded:Moll Batteries
Key Participant Profiles—Enhanced Flooded
Notable Partnerships—Enhanced Flooded
Technical Evaluation vs. Defined Specifications—Enhanced Flooded
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Barriers—Enhanced Flooded
Overview of the Technology—LC (VRLA or Flooded; Some are Hybrid Battery-ultracapacitors)
Development and Commercialization History—LC
Development Status—Current Status of LC
Key Participant Profiles—LC:Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC)
Key Participant Profiles—LC:AXION POWER
Key Participant Profiles—LC: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
Key Participant Profiles—LC: Firefly International Energy
Key Participant Profiles—LC:Furukawa Battery
Key Participant Profiles—LC
Notable Partnerships—LC
Technical Evaluation vs. Defined Specifications—LC
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Barriers—LC
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Appendix

List of Acronyms

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