Winner takes all?

Battery technologies are central to delivering significant advances in a wide range of industries, from electric vehicles to renewable power. This has catapulted battery technology to the top of the priority list for many players, leading to a huge boom in investment, as companies try to build key positions in the market.

However, this investment frenzy threatens to lead companies to rush forward without asking themselves key questions. What will the landscape look like when the dust settles? Which technology will dominate the battery space in the future, and what are the potential scenarios for future growth? How do I (as a chemical company, utility, investor, battery manufacturer, automotive manufacturer, mobility provider or government / regulator) prepare for the future and position myself to benefit?

There is no simple answer to these questions, as they depend on a range of factors, from the speed of new innovation to the ability to reduce costs of existing technologies.

Achieving market dominance in a wide range of electrifying industries, from automotive to electronic devices, will require companies to build and defend successful battery technology positions together with hosts of larger and smaller partners. If they lose that battle, they may lose the war. Risks are high, and not all players will be successful in terms of technology choices, their positions in the value chain and partnering strategies.

This study aims to provide a guide to the current state of the market and future scenarios, analyzing the various battery technologies and mapping them to the unmet needs of specific applications. The findings and conclusions mentioned in this report are the result of Arthur D. Little analyses on a wide range of sources which we have not all listed separately for the sake of readability, unless indicated otherwise.

From this study we outline the three most likely potential scenarios and outcomes in terms of the winning technology of the future, and explain the implications for industries and players either dependent on battery technology or looking to benefit from its evolution. In particular, we believe the ultimate winners of this game will be companies that orchestrate the best innovation ecosystems in battery technology.