The Lithium-ion Batteries Market to Expand its Wide Array of Applications

Jul 19, 2016, 09:00 ET from

NEW YORK, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

As priorities over our energy sources are shifting, innovation in new energy technology sectors is growing rapidly. One of the most interesting developments has been in the lithium-ion batteries market, which is already being used in a wide array of applications. These are the companies in the space domestically and internationally. China BAK Battery Inc. (NASDAQ: CBAK), Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Inc. (OTC: OGES), FMC Corp (NYSE: FMC), Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM)

A recently published research on the global battery energy storage market for smart grid by Technavio, a research company which focuses on emerging market trends, claims that lithium-ion batteries are to dominate the battery energy storage market. The research into detail describing the growth of the 3 segments in the global battery energy storage market for smart grid: Li-ion batteries, Lead-acid batteries and Sodium sulfur batteries, claiming that the li-ion batteries segment in particular is projected to reach 3,130 MW by 2020, growing at a CAGR of close to 72%.

Li-ion batteries have a lot of advantages. Lithium is the third lightest element, which leads to the production high capacity of batteries. In addition, Li-ion batteries use non-aqueous electrolytes that offer high operating voltages. The challenge has been high costs. Companies like China BAK Battery Inc. (NASDAQ: CBAK), through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the manufacture, commercialization and distribution of various standard and customized lithium ion (Li-ion) high power rechargeable batteries. It manufactures over five types of Li-ion rechargeable batteries, such as aluminum-case cell, cylindrical cell, lithium polymer cell and high-power lithium battery cell. Its customers include electric vehicle manufacturers, electric bicycle manufacturers and battery pack manufacturers.

These batteries can be used in a variety of ways, and small companies like Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: OGES) have developed batteries strong enough to be used on machines as well. Oakridge Global Energy Solutions have several battery lines: the Pro Series for Golf Cars and the Patriot Series for the high-end hobby market, which have now been followed by the Freedom Series for living space power storage applications, and the Liberty Series of lightweight, highly powerful starter motor batteries for motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, boats, cars and trucks. Oakridge Global Energy's battery systems comprised of large and small format prismatic lithium cells.

Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Inc. stated earlier this year that the, "product development team has been working diligently to develop additional products for release throughout the balance of 2016.  Additional capacity has been added by nearly tripling the capacity in cell formation, and much more high speed automation equipment is on order for delivery before the end of 2016."

As of today, lithium batteries are most widely used in our smartphones and tablets. Due to the demand of lithium, manufacturers and marketers of specialty chemicals, who are the suppliers of lithium, like FMC Corp (NYSE: FMC) and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM) have also benefited from the new segment of lithium batteries. FMC is consistently innovating when it comes to lithium batteries, to find better ways to meet world's growing demand for longer lasting batteries for tablets, phones, power tools, EV cars and even power plants. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, which claims that it is the world's largest lithium producer, grabbed the opportunity to produce in Argentina, as the new local government plans to open up its reserves. The company agreed to pay $25 million to Lithium Americas Corp. for 50% of Minera Exar, which owns a project in northern Argentina. This is a project that may, according to local studies, produce 40,000 metric tons of a year for more than 30 years.

Then there is Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB), manufacturer and marketer of specialty chemicals across a range of end markets. In 2015 has demonstrated just how important the lithium market is, by acquiring Rockwood Holdings, parent company of Rockwood Lithium for $6.2 billion. Currently Albemarle is trading at all-time highs.

The investments made in lithium-ion batteries, to make them last longer, and reducing production costs, are now flourishing. These batteries, applied to the wide range machines and gadgets, are the future and the industry in many ways, is still at its early stages.

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