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 $22 million in 2020 to $109 million in 2025 and thereafter $500 million in 2030.
Over 10 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 $66-billion 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, such as wrist-worn wearables, accounting for 29% of the market of flexible, printed and thin film batteries in 2025 to healthcare products in 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 IDTechEx report. Each have different capabilities and opportunities, resulting in a broad range of use cases.
IDTechEx finds that while Zinc-Carbon batteries are dominant in terms of market size in 2020, by 2025 bulk solid-state batteries will lead by market size, followed by advanced lithium-ion batteries.
The IDTechEx report, “Flexible, Printed and Thin Film Batteries 2020-2030: Technologies, Markets and Players," provides a complete assessment of the technologies, providers and applications, from the successes and failures over the last ten years of development to giving an impartial outlook of the opportunities of these technologies. Forecasts are given by application and battery technology and are assessed in light of COVID-19 implications.