There are a lot of unknowns concerning the upcoming plug-in vehicle market expansion, but we don't often hear that we might have too many lithium-ion batteries in the coming decade. Nonetheless, that's what a new report from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants called "Powertrain 2020: Li-ion batteries – The next bubble ahead?" suggests. Specifically, RBSC believes that the U.S. and Japan are building so much li-ion battery making capacity that, between 2014 and 2017, we'll see "significant overcapacity" relative to the demand. RBSC writes:
Who'da thunk it?Given the announced investments, capacity in 2015 will already reach 200% of the demand projected for 2016. In addition, not all investments have been announced; as-yet unknown investments by key players will lead to further overcapacity, and national subsidies will stimulate even more investments.
All of this overcapacity, RBSC says, will severely decrease the number of battery manufacturers that will be able to survive. In fact, RBSC predicts that just six to eight "global battery manufacturers" will survive through that timeframe, out of about 60 today.
[Source: Roland Berger Strategy Consultants via Green Car Congress]