The automotive lead acid battery market has been forecast to reach US$43.9 billion by 2018, primarily driven by increase in automotive production, particularly in developing markets such as China and India, growing integration of start-stop technology in new age automobiles, and the sustained demand from replacement and after market segments.
Lead-acid batteries, invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté, are the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Despite having a very low energy-to-weight ratio and a low energy-to-volume ratio, their ability to supply high surge currents means that the cells maintain a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. These features, along with their low cost, make them attractive for use in motor vehicles to provide the high current required by automobile starter motors.
Lead-acid batteries are made up of plates of lead and separate plates of lead dioxide, which are submerged into an electrolyte solution of about 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water. This causes a chemical reaction that releases electrons, allowing them to flow through conductors to produce electricity.
As the battery discharges, the acid of the electrolyte reacts with the materials of the plates, changing their surface to lead sulfate. When the battery is recharged, the chemical reaction is reversed: the lead sulfate reforms into lead dioxide and lead. With the plates restored to their original condition, the process may now be repeated.
Despite slow economic growth in the US, and continuing sovereign debt crisis in Europe, market players in the lead acid batteries market continue to remain optimistic of overall growth in the global market.
The steady increase in automotive demand in regions other than Europe, more so importantly in developing markets such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America, and subsequent rise in automotive production, will continue to lend traction to the global automotive lead acid batteries market in the OEM segment.
Asia-Pacific region represents the largest and fastest growing region within the automotive lead acid battery market, with dollar sales increasing at a CAGR of about 6.4% through to 2018. Growth in the market is especially being driven by huge demand for two-wheelers and new cars, including luxury cars in the region, particularly in emerging nations such as China and India, and the subsequent increase in automotive production.
For more information on the automotive lead acid battery market, see the latest research: Automotive Lead Acid Battery Market
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