I like the market research by Interact Analysis. Its analysts search out data and don’t seem to use the famous sliding scale for prognostication. Although, as always take trend analysis with a grain of salt. Here are two news items from their research.

Lithium-Ion Battery Production Goes Global

Thoughts from Maya Xiao, Senior Analyst.

Why are you doing this research now, Maya? For two reasons. The first of these is that lithium-ion battery manufacturing has gone global in recent years. Previously, production was concentrated in APAC, where the main market also was. But in the past couple of years, electric vehicle manufacturing has taken off in the EU and in America, and as a result we are seeing battery manufacturers springing up across these regions. It’s a global boom time for the lithium-ion battery industry, and we need to assess the state of this burgeoning market.

But the second reason is that research is also needed into the battery manufacturing machinery segment. That’s because every battery manufacturer needs dedicated machinery, which is now a blossoming high-tech sector in its own right. Our aim is to give battery makers and component suppliers a clear view of the machinery landscape.

Can you give me one stand-out fact that you have learned during your research? There’s a lot of optimism about market growth from battery manufacturers and capital markets, and this may be leading them to make overestimates regarding the expected production capacity of planned installations. The average utilization rate of global battery capacity is under 70% currently.

How was 2021 for battery manufacturing? It was a good year. We saw the battery market double in size, and even triple in some regions. And the machinery market was even stronger, being bolstered by the presence of some very innovative high-tech start-ups. Where end-user markets are concerned, EV production saw fast growth, especially driven by the Chinese market, and some big OEMs in Europe.

What about 2022? We anticipate some major financial activity in the markets, with battery manufacturers such as LG Energy Solution, SVOLT and CALB engaging in IPOs which will enable them to invest in significant expansion. As a result, we expect to see tougher competition in the market as the existing big players such as CATL and BYD are challenged by smaller companies which, through going public, generate more funding for R&D and manufacturing expansion.

Low voltage AC motors market grew 21.5% by revenue in 2021

New research from Interact Analysis shows that the low voltage motors market saw the highest revenue growth in living memory during 2021, driven by historic price increases as a result of supply chain disruptions. Growth in unit terms of 6.6% was much more in line with the broader rate of recovery seen in the manufacturing sector globally. Supply chain disruptions have included shortages of key components and raw materials – with steel, copper, and aluminum in particular reaching record highs in 2021 – as well as major increases to shipping prices.

China continues to be the world’s largest motor market and, although ABB and Siemens continue to be global market leaders, domestic Chinese companies, including Wolong Electric and Wanan Motors are now entering the top ten global suppliers. During 2022 we expect to see Wolong hit the top spot in APAC, which will be a first for a Chinese supplier.

Blake Griffin, Senior Analyst at Interact Analysis comments, “For me, one of the most interesting findings of this research is related to new high efficiency IE4 and IE5 motors. There is a lot of hype surrounding them, but the market has shown that it will generally not adopt them unless forced to by legislation. Currently, the IE4 & IE5 motor market is in its infancy with a market size of $134 m in 2020. But major growth is predicted in the European Union which is putting IE4 minimum efficiency performance standards in place.”

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