Road Vehicle Electrification to Provide Opportunities for Battery Management Solution Providers

Author:
Ryan Sanderson, IHS

Date
08/18/2013

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The electric road vehicle sector is predicted to drive shipments of lithium-ion batteries

Simple battery management systems (BMS) are used extensively in consumer electronics and usually consist of one or more battery management ICs to control charging, perform authentication, provide protection, measure the state of charge, and balance the cells. As battery chemistry changes and the number of cells increases, although the fundamental design of a BMS remains the same, its complexity increases. For example, in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), there are hundreds of times more cells than in consumer electronics. Although this poses challenges, it also provides opportunities. The market for automotive and motive batteries is projected to grow by $16 billion from 2013 to 2017. Unit shipments are predicted to grow by 27% during this period. Although a BMS can be designed for use with any battery chemistry, in the automotive/motive market, most are designed for lithium-ion batteries. For lithium-ion batteries, the BMS is crucial as lithium is inherently unstable. Sensitivity to high temperature can result in degradation of the battery pack; and reported instances of thermal runaway resulting in lithium-ion batteries catching fire have led to concerns regarding safety. That being said, properly managed, lithium-ion batteries are a perfectly viable solution for vehicle propulsion and growth in this market is forecast to accelerate rapidly over the next five years. Recent findings from the IHS report "The World Market for Motive Batteries" revealed that lithium-ion batteries were installed in 8% of HEVs in 2012, driving a market worth $113 million. By 2017, it is predicted that 48% of HEVs will have lithium-ion batteries installed and that the market will be worth $735 million. This excludes any battery management, though each battery pack will require at least one BMS. Similarly, unit shipments of battery packs (excluding BMS) for PHEVs are projected to increase by a factor of ten from 70,000 in 2012 to 700,000 in 2017. The market for lithium-ion batteries in BEVs is more established and was estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in 2012. This is also projected to grow rapidly, more than tripling from 2012 to 2017. A further $500 million of growth in sales of lithium-ion batteries during this period is forecast to be driven by the rapidly increasing demand for electric bikes in Europe and America (in Asia, the majority of these bikes use low-cost lead-acid batteries). In total, the electric road vehicle sector is predicted to drive shipments of lithium-ion batteries from 1.7 million in 2012 to 6.3 million in 2017. This will offer huge opportunities for battery packers, BMS manufacturers and semiconductor manufacturers. And this is just one part of the total motive/automotive battery market. Demand for greater accuracy and charge monitoring is also driving demand for BMS in applications that use other battery types, such as lead-acid and nickel metal-hydride. This will bring further opportunities in what is proving to be a dynamic and fast-paced market. Simple battery management systems (BMS) are used extensively in consumer electronics and usually consist of one or more battery management ICs to control charging, perform authentication, provide protection, measure the state of charge, and balance the cells. As battery chemistry changes and the number of cells increases, although the fundamental design of a BMS remains the same, its complexity increases. For example, in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), there are hundreds of times more cells than in consumer electronics. Although this poses challenges, it also provides opportunities. The market for automotive and motive batteries is projected to grow by $16 billion from 2013 to 2017. Unit shipments are predicted to grow by 27% during this period. Although a BMS can be designed for use with any battery chemistry, in the automotive/motive market, most are designed for lithium-ion batteries. For lithium-ion batteries, the BMS is crucial as lithium is inherently unstable. Sensitivity to high temperature can result in degradation of the battery pack; and reported instances of thermal runaway resulting in lithium-ion batteries catching fire have led to concerns regarding safety. That being said, properly managed, lithium-ion batteries are a perfectly viable solution for vehicle propulsion and growth in this market is forecast to accelerate rapidly over the next five years. Recent findings from the IHS report "The World Market for Motive Batteries" revealed that lithium-ion batteries were installed in 8% of HEVs in 2012, driving a market worth $113 million. By 2017, it is predicted that 48% of HEVs will have lithium-ion batteries installed and that the market will be worth $735 million. This excludes any battery management, though each battery pack will require at least one BMS. Similarly, unit shipments of battery packs (excluding BMS) for PHEVs are projected to increase by a factor of ten from 70,000 in 2012 to 700,000 in 2017. The market for lithium-ion batteries in BEVs is more established and was estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in 2012. This is also projected to grow rapidly, more than tripling from 2012 to 2017. A further $500 million of growth in sales of lithium-ion batteries during this period is forecast to be driven by the rapidly increasing demand for electric bikes in Europe and America (in Asia, the majority of these bikes use low-cost lead-acid batteries). In total, the electric road vehicle sector is predicted to drive shipments of lithium-ion batteries from 1.7 million in 2012 to 6.3 million in 2017. This will offer huge opportunities for battery packers, BMS manufacturers and semiconductor manufacturers. And this is just one part of the total motive/automotive battery market. Demand for greater accuracy and charge monitoring is also driving demand for BMS in applications that use other battery types, such as lead-acid and nickel metal-hydride. This will bring further opportunities in what is proving to be a dynamic and fast-paced market. IHS

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