Table of Contents
Electrochromism is the phenomenon of optical properties (reflectivity, transmissivity, absorptivity) of materials changing color reversibly and steadily with the action of applied electric field. The optical device made from electrochromic materials is called electrochromic device. The product, theoretically, can be used in various fields, including automotive auto-dimming rearview mirror, electrochromic smart glass, sun glass & goggles, military camouflage gear, electrochromic display, sensor, optical shutter or optical modulator.
Since foreign scholar Plant put forward the concept of electrochromism for the first time in the 1960s, electrochromic materials and devices have been a hot area of research globally. SCI database shows that the number of research papers on electrochromism has been growing year after year at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2010-2014, reaching 174 in 2014, up 10.1% over the previous year. By December 23, 2015, there were 159 research papers on electrochromism in SCI, a slight decline compared with that in 2014 but basically on a par with 2013 level.
Despite several decades of R&D and expansion, global commercial application of electrochromic materials is still in the primary stage of development with a market size of only around USD1.8 billion. Electrochromic materials find mature application in only two fields: automotive auto-dimming rearview mirror and electrochromic smart glass.
U.S. Gentex is the first company that materializes automotive auto-dimming rearview mirror. Because of first-mover advantage of Gentex and cost & performance limits of other companies, Gentex has always been an oligopoly in global automotive auto-dimming rearview mirror market, producing 29 million sets in 2014, about 90% of global market share.
In electrochromic smart window field, against the background of energy conservation and environmental protection and due to low barriers of auto industry, the number of companies getting involved in the field is relatively large. Front-runners include Sage Glass (a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain), View, E-control Glas, and Gesimat. However, the electrochromic smart window market size is small, estimated at around USD100 million-200 million, only roughly 10% of global smart glass market.
China has started research into the variety, preparation techniques, color-changing mechanism, performance, and application of electrochromic materials since the 1980s. However, there are few Chinese all-solid-state electrochromic glass companies that achieve commercial operation. Ningbo Miro Electronic Technology claims that it is capable of producing 30,000-40,000 pieces of electrochromic glass lenses per month, while other companies, like Zhuhai Kaivo Optoelectronic Technology, Changzhou Yapu Smart Variable Color Optics, and Tintable Smart Material (just acquired by Kibing Group), are still in the stage of R&D or intermediate test.
Global and China Electrochromic Materials and Devices Industry Report, 2014-2018 focuses on the followings:
Classification and application of electrochromic materials and devices;
Development status, competitive landscape and applications of electrochromic materials and devices in the world;
Development status, competitive landscape and applications of electrochromic materials and devices in China;
Operation and electrochromism business of 3 global and 4 Chinese companies.
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