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The battery market has suddenly become alive again in recent years. On one hand, batteries are moving to new form factors, becoming ultra-thin, flexible, rollable, stretchable, etc. On the other hand, manufacturers are scrambling to offer large batteries aimed at addressing the large-sized electric vehicle, residential and grid applications. IDTechEx have released a new report titled 'Flexible, Printed and Thin Film Batteries 2019-2029'. This market study is focused on the former. IDTechEx has been tracking the technology development, market progress and player activities of global flexible, thin-film, printed batteries (or batteries with novel form factors) since 2014.
Picture: Market descriptions by territory. Source: IDTechEx
Flexible, thin and/or printed batteries (or batteries with novel form factors) are back on the agenda thanks to the rise of Internet of Things, wearables and environmental sensors. These applications require new features and battery designs that traditional battery technologies simply cannot provide. This has opened the door to innovation and added a new dimension to the global competition between battery suppliers.
This is a fast-changing industry, with its technologies in a state of rapid progress as new designs, methods and modified chemistries are frequently announced. The business landscape is also being dramatically altered as many companies are now gearing up to progress their lab scale technologies into mass production.
The composition of the target market is undergoing drastic change, driven by the emergence of new addressable market categories. Traditionally, the micro-power thin and printed batteries were used in skin patches, RFID tags and smart cards. Today, however, many new emerging applications have appeared, enticing many large players to enter the foray and thus transforming a business landscape that was once populated predominantly by small firms.
IDTechEx provides detailed technology assessment and benchmarking, ten-year market forecasts segmented by application and technology type, and detailed interview-based business intelligence and profiles on key players and large end-users.
Picture: Applications of batteries with new form and structural factors. Source: IDTechEx
In this study IDTechEx has drawn upon at least 27 direct interviews and visits with key suppliers and large end-users from a variety of sectors and years of accumulated experience and market knowledge for the end use applications such as active RFIDs, smart cards, skin patches, smart packaging and recently wearables and IoT. Our team working on this project is highly technical, enabling it to fully understand the merits and challenges of each technology in this complex landscape.
The market and technology landscape are complex. On the technology side, there are many solutions that fall within the broad category of thin film, flexible or printed batteries. These include printed batteries, thin-film batteries, advanced lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, micro-batteries, stretchable batteries, thin flexible supercapacitors and a few more. It is therefore a confusing technology landscape to navigate and betting on the right technology is not straightforward.
On the market side, many applications are still emerging, and the requirements are fast evolving. The target markets are also very diverse and not overlapping, each with different requirements for power, lifetime, thinness, cost, charging cycles, reliability, flexibility, etc. This diversity of requirements means that no thin film battery offers a one-size-fits-all solution.
For more see www.IDTechEx.com/Flex