Portable devices have become an indelible part of the modern lifestyle, thanks to the pervasive presence of smartphones, laptops, and tablet computers. Other large markets for portable devices, including power tools, medical devices, and defense systems, are also growing in size. All of those devices need batteries to run them, and an $8 billion industry has grown up over the last 20 years to meet that demand.
By far the largest component of the advanced battery landscape is the lithium ion (Li-ion) sector, which makes the batteries that power almost all portable devices. The first Li-ion battery appeared just 2 decades ago and has since become the battery of choice for most portable devices. However, new chemistries are being developed in laboratories and in R&D departments throughout the world, including magnesium ion, ultracapacitors, lithium sulfur, and lithium air. Many of these newly developed chemistries promise advantages over today’s Li-ion batteries.
Navigant Research forecasts that revenue generated by the sales of all advanced batteries for portable power applications will top $7.1 billion in 2013 and grow to over $12.4 billion by 2023.