Battery technology is experiencing enormous investment as organizations race to meet the demand of over 1,500 GWh needed in 2030 for electric vehicles, residential and grid applications.
However, separate to this are those focusing on an entirely different area of battery innovation, with significantly less competition and addressing different markets, where they are radically changing the form factor from thick, rigid, bulky batteries that are used today to ultra thin, flexible, rollable and even stretchable.
According to the IDTechEx report “Flexible, Printed and Thin Film Batteries 2020-2030: Technologies, Markets and Players” the market for such batteries will grow from just $22million in 2020 to $109million in 2025 and thereafter $500million in 2030.
Over ten years of technology, development is finally translating into commercial success as the new form factors meet needs for thinner, flexible electronics – it is not about replacing the coin cell battery or battery pouch with a flexible version, but increasingly designing products around the newly shaped battery components.
Leading the way is wearable technology, a $66billion sector in 2020, where products need to conform to the shape and movement of the wearer and not the other way round. This includes consumer electronics products such as wrist-worn wearables, accounting for 29% of the market of flexible, printed and thin film batteries in 2025 to healthcare products in for the form of electronic skin patches which need to be low profile and comfortable for the user, accounting for 23% of the market in 2025.
Applications are very diverse due to different requirements for power, lifetime, thinness, cost, charging cycles, reliability, flexibility, and other parameters.
This diversity of requirements means that no thin film battery offers a one-size-fits-all solution and there many different technologies that have been developed that fall within the broad category of thin film, flexible or printed batteries. These are all assessed and compared, based on interviews with the key global suppliers, in the IDTechEx report.
These include printed batteries, thin-film batteries, advanced lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, micro-batteries, stretchable batteries, thin flexible supercapacitors, and others with 23 battery technologies assessed and compared in the report. Each have different capabilities and opportunities, resulting in a broad range of use cases.
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