The global primary battery market size was valued at USD 20.73 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 37.53 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.82% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The demand for primary batteries remains elevated worldwide due to the numerous benefits of primary batteries, such as their low cost and wide application across the healthcare sector. A supportive legislative initiative for primary battery recycling is also expected to boost market expansion.
A primary battery, sometimes known as a primary cell, refers to a galvanic cell designed for single-use and subsequent disposal. In contrast, a secondary cell, commonly referred to as a rechargeable battery, can be charged and utilized multiple times. In general, the electrochemical reaction in the cell is irreversible, rendering the cell non-rechargeable. As a primary cell is utilized, chemical reactions in the battery consume the power-generating chemicals; once they are depleted, the battery ceases to produce electricity.
Primary batteries are environmentally friendly and provide numerous benefits, including dependability, instant readiness, and high energy and storage capacity. Therefore, they are utilized in surgically implanted cardiac pacemakers. They are also used in various consumer products, including door locks, remote-controlled garage door openers, home smoke detectors, and television and stereo remote controls. Moreover, they are utilized in vehicle tire pressure gauges, smart meters, intelligent drill bits in mining, animal tracking, wristwatches, remote light beacons, and electronic keys.
|Market Size||USD 37.53 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||South America|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The escalating demand for portable medical equipment is a major factor in expanding the primary battery market. The demand for mobile devices is on the rise. Combining a high-energy pulse and a battery makes mobile devices one-fifth smaller than conventional mobile devices. Pulse power and batteries provide long-term solutions for high-end, complex portable devices such as portable defibrillators and electrocardiograms (EKGs). Pulse power technology can efficiently store and subsequently release energy as required.
The development of portable lifesaving medical devices, such as defibrillators, pacemakers, cochlear implants, and spinal cord stimulators, has further boosted the demand for primary batteries in the market. The aging global population and advancements in medical technology have been instrumental in adopting batteries in the healthcare industry. According to statistical data published by the UN, there were about 727 million individuals aged 65 and above in 2020. Thus, the increasing demand for portable medical devices will expedite the expansion of the global market.
Legislative support for battery recycling is the leading trend propelling the expansion of the primary battery market. Governments worldwide are crafting legislation mandating the recycling of batteries containing harmful compounds, such as alkaline cells, to prevent groundwater poisoning and the environment. Recycling can enable the recovery of valuable metals from scrap batteries. This allows manufacturers to overcome the production costs associated with new batteries.
In January 2019, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced a USD 20.5 million investment in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. The investment covers the partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to establish a new lithium battery R&D center (estimated cost: USD 15 million) as well as prize money to design a contest that will help develop solutions to recycle discarded lithium-ion batteries (USD 5.5 million). Thus, global legislative support will increase the recycling of primary batteries, thereby boosting market expansion.
Primary batteries, like alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries, face a threat from secondary batteries, like lithium-ion and Ni-MH batteries, in consumer electronics applications. Rechargeable batteries have a higher energy density, offering better performance and a longer life than alkaline batteries. Therefore, most market participants are shifting their focus to rechargeable batteries, such as nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) and lithium-ion.
Apart from technical advantages, rechargeable batteries are considered environmentally friendly compared to primary batteries. When discarded improperly, disposable primary batteries release toxic metals, such as potassium hydroxide, which become hazardous waste and threaten human health and the environment. This aspect is likely to have a negative influence on the market.
Sharp and sustained cost reductions are anticipated to help establish lithium-ion as the preferred battery chemistry in all primary battery end-user industries, including consumer electronics and healthcare. Lithium-ion batteries are widely utilized in cell phones, tablets, and laptops, among other devices, whose demand has risen rapidly worldwide over the past decade.
In addition, the average price of lithium-ion batteries is anticipated to continue falling and reach approximately USD 100/kWh by 2025, making them much more cost-competitive than other primary battery types. The trend is expected to result in an increased application of lithium-ion batteries in new and exciting markets, such as remote automobile door locks, remote-control garage door openers, home smoke detectors, and consumer electronics remote controls. Hence, the continuous decline in cost, resulting in the extensive use of lithium-ion batteries, is expected to create ample opportunities for large international Li-ion battery manufacturing companies to enter the global primary battery market in the coming years.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global primary battery market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global primary battery market shareholder and is expected to expand substantially during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific has been a market leader in the past and is expected to maintain its position as one of the leading regions in the global primary battery market throughout the forecast period. This is due to the region's prominence in producing toys, electronic devices like remote controls and watches, and medical devices like glucose and blood pressure monitors. In addition, China has dominated the global battery manufacturing industry for a long time and is anticipated to sustain its dominance throughout the forecast period. The primary battery market growth in China is also predicted to be driven by the country's emergence as a manufacturing superpower and its immense expansion in the production of consumer electronics.
Furthermore, India is the fifth-largest nation in terms of military expenditures. Due to geopolitical tensions with its neighbors, particularly Pakistan and China, India is anticipated to continue increasing its military expenditure throughout the forecast period, driving the demand for primary batteries in the defense industry.
North America, including the United States and Canada, is a pioneer in research and innovation in the global primary battery market and remains one of the largest consumers of primary batteries, owing to factors such as increased military spending, increased spending on consumer electronics, and increased consumer and manufacturing activities. With the growing healthcare costs, patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses, opt for portable medical equipment that can provide the healthcare required in a non-institutional environment. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the US, there were approximately 54.10 million people aged 65 years and older in 2020, and this number is expected to reach 84.813 million people by 2050.
In addition, as per the data published by the National Cancer Institute, there were approximately 1,806,590 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the US, and 606,520 individuals died from the disease in 2020. Due to the surging prevalence of chronic illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease in the country, the demand for portable medical devices is anticipated to increase, thereby driving the primary battery market.
Europe is one of the largest markets for primary batteries globally due to the high level of urbanization and industrialization. In Europe, demand for primary batteries comes primarily from miniature, portable, lightweight, low-drain applications, where primary batteries comprise a more sustainable solution than rechargeable ones. Due to this, over 50% of the battery appliances market is focused on such applications, and the demand from this segment is expected to grow during the forecast period. Due to the surge in per capita income and surplus income in European states, Europe is one of the largest markets for luxury consumer electronics, such as toys and gadgets, which is expected to drive the demand for primary batteries in the region during the forecast period.
Additionally, as most new buildings and construction projects in Europe are being developed as smart projects that incorporate intelligent surveillance and monitoring systems, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, and CCTV cameras, devices that have low drain characteristics and primary batteries are expected to find widespread application in such scenarios.
South America's economy grew rapidly during the past few years, and the demand for primary batteries increased simultaneously. Owing to the several benefits of primary batteries, such as their low cost and wide application across low-cost consumer electronics, including clocks, flashlights, calculators, and smoke alarms, the demand for primary batteries is expected to remain high in South America during the forecast period. As income per capita increases across the continent, increasing the purchasing power of consumers across South America, the demand for low-cost consumer electronics is growing across countries in South America. Moreover, rapid urbanization and infrastructure construction increased the demand further, which is expected to continue during the forecast period.
The Middle East and Africa region is a diverse region, with countries in various economic conditions. This directly affects the way primary batteries are consumed in the region. The Middle Eastern and North African nations are generally more prosperous than their sub-Saharan African counterparts. However, Sub-Saharan Africa is blessed with the metallic and non-metallic minerals required to sustain any significant form of primary energy battery supply chain.
The global primary battery market is segmented by type.
Based on type, the global primary battery market is bifurcated into primary alkaline batteries, primary lithium batteries, and other types.
The primary alkaline battery segment dominates the global market. Primary alkaline batteries are one of the most popular battery chemicals for non-rechargeable batteries. It has high specific energy, is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and leak-proof even when completely discharged. Alkaline can be stored for up to ten years, has a good safety record, and is exempt from UN Transport and other regulations for air transport. Moreover, alkaline batteries are a type of disposable battery that contains zinc and manganese dioxide electrodes. Potassium, or sodium hydroxide, is used as the alkaline electrolyte in these batteries. These batteries have a constant voltage, higher energy density, and greater resistance to leakage than carbon-zinc batteries.
In addition, the demand for primary alkaline batteries is driven by the increasing consumption of consumer electronics, medical devices, and the defense sector. For instance, as per the Ministry of Finance Japan and Battery Association of Japan, overall the primary alkaline battery sales increased from JPY 48.45 billion in 2016 to JPY 51.11 billion in 2020; however, in 2020, the sales declined compared to the previous year primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Primary Lithium Batteries have metallic lithium as an anode. Compared to other primary batteries, it has a higher energy density and high cost per unit. Depending on the design and chemical compound employed, lithium cells produce voltages ranging from 1.5 V to about 3.7 V. Primary lithium batteries are found in various sizes and formats, from small button cells and AAAs to 9-volts and complete custom battery pack designs. Small lithium cells are typically used to power small, portable electronic devices, like calculators, watches, digital cameras, and remote car locks. Larger lithium cells and battery packs are utilized in numerous defense, medical, and industrial applications. In addition, primary lithium batteries are available in different chemistry, and some of the common primary lithium batteries are lithium-iron disulfide batteries (Li-FeS2), lithium-thionyl chloride batteries (LiSOCI2 or LTC), lithium-manganese dioxide batteries (LiMnO2 or Li-M), and lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries (LiSo2).
The other types of primary batteries primarily include zinc chloride batteries, zinc-mercury oxide batteries, cadmium-mercury oxide batteries, solid-state batteries, and silver oxide batteries. Zinc-carbon batteries have been popular for many years. There are mainly two types of primary zinc-carbon batteries available on the market: leclanche batteries and zinc-chloride batteries. Further, with technological and manufacturing advancements, it was possible to use purer zinc and manganese, making zinc chloride batteries more popular. These types of batteries, including cadmium-mercury oxide batteries, are now obsolete due to the impact of mercury and cadmium on the environment.
Other battery types, such as alkaline manganese dioxide, zinc-air, silver oxide, and lithium batteries, have occupied the market for this battery. Increased usage of secondary and lithium-ion batteries has made the other primary batteries less preferable to consumers. Hence, the other types of primary batteries are likely to witness moderately slow growth during the forecast period.