BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (July 5, 12 p.m. ET) — The Chinese market for lithium-ion batteries and battery separators is booming, according to a new report from Eldib Engineering & Research.
According to the report, the United States imported nearly 49 million lithium-ion batteries from China in 2010, up from about 20 million in 2009. The value of the imports rose to $498 million, up from $180 million according to the report.
Lithium-ion batteries are widely used in portable electronic products, such as cell phones, camcorders, and portable computers. In addition, the technology is gaining attention as a preferred option for electric and hybrid vehicles.
China has hundreds of battery makers, but only three big manufacturers of lithium-ion battery separators — Shenzhen Senior Technology, Foshan Jin Hui Hi-Tech Optoelectronics Co. and Linyi Gelon New Battery Materials Co. Ltd., according to the report. These companies currently have capacity to make 12 million square meters of material annually, but that capacity is set to increase by 62 million square meters.
The market for lithium-ion batteries for automobiles depends on government subsidies, both in China and the United States, according to the report. The Eldib study concludes that in today's electric vehicles, the cost of the battery is about 40 percent of the total cost of a four-passenger sedan.
Eldib Engineering is based in Berkeley Heights.