Boulder, Colorado – Asian manufacturers, which have traditionally dominated the global market for lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries in various electronics categories, will continue to lead in both Li-ion production and consumption as the global market for electrified vehicles grows rapidly over the next several years, according to a recent report from Pike Research.

Despite the support of the federal government, U.S. battery companies have struggled to gain market share while the Asian market for vehicle batteries has taken off.  “The Obama administration is making a concerted effort to prevent the failure of the U.S. auto industry, and that will bolster development of the U.S. battery industry through 2012,” says senior analyst John Gartner. “But political shifts and market realities could remove that safety net.”

Pike Research anticipates that improved manufacturing efficiencies and expanded access to lithium will halve the installed cost of Li-ion vehicle batteries between 2010 and 2015, to $470 per kWh (kilowatt hour). The Li-ion transportation battery industry will grow more than eight-fold in the next five years, the Cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts, with nearly US$8 billion in sales worldwide by 2015, up from $878 million in 2010. Total electrified vehicle sales in the Asia Pacific region will reach almost 1.1 million in 2015, more than the U.S. and Western Europe combined. And the Asian Li-ion battery market will surpass US$4 billion, representing 53 per cent of total worldwide sales, in the same timeframe.

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