Future outlook for lead and lead batteries

Over the hill or more to give? The future market outlook for lead batteries

Geoffrey May (FOCUS Consulting, United Kingdom)

The market for rechargeable batteries is growing at a remarkable rate with electric vehicles being the key driver and with continuing expansion for portable, automotive and industrial battery sales. The principal battery chemistry that is contributing to this growth is Li-ion and although lead batteries still dominate the market in MWh of energy stored, 2018 saw the value of sales for Li-ion batteries move ahead of lead batteries for the first time. The questions are then whether this will continue and whether sales of lead batteries will be eroded in the years to come. This presentation will attempt to answer these questions by looking at the market for lead batteries sector by sector and region by region. For automotive applications, regulations and government initiatives to reduce emissions are changing battery requirements and this will be analysed to show how lead batteries will evolve to meet market requirements. The competitive position of Li-ion batteries, both technical and economic, will also be considered. For industrial batteries, the technical requirements for motive power and for standby service remain broadly unchanged and overall cost is important. Market forecasts will be presented based on independent studies and on analysis by Focus Consulting to show that there are prospects for growth but that costs will come under pressure as Li-ion batteries continue to fall in price.


Geoffrey May has been in the battery industry for many years and has his own consulting business, FOCUS Consulting, advising clients worldwide on all aspects of battery technology. He was Chief Technology Officer for FIAMM for a number of years and prior to that held the same position for Hawker Batteries before it was merged with Enersys. His earlier career was in the electricity supply industry, for Chloride Group and for Hawker Siddeley Group. He is a metallurgist by profession and obtained both his first and second degrees at the University of Cambridge.

Geoffrey May

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