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News   July 15, 2011   by CARS Magazine

Lux Research Ranks Energy Storage Suppliers for Electric Vehicles

The hype around electric vehicles has fueled interest in energy storage technologies, and has attracted an increasing number of competitors to an already crowded market. Soon, it will be impossible for all of these ...


The hype around electric vehicles has fueled interest in energy storage technologies, and has attracted an increasing number of competitors to an already crowded market. Soon, it will be impossible for all of these companies to survive, making strong partnerships a necessity. In its latest report, Lux Research ranks technology developers in both Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors on the Lux Innovation Grid to help determine which will make the strongest potential partners as the electric vehicle market matures.

The report, titled “Using Partnerships to Stay Afloat in the Electric Vehicle Storm,” maps the current web of relationships among energy storage developers, integrators, and automakers, and analyzes supply and demand for energy storage in electric vehicles. It then ranks companies on the Lux Innovation Grid, a proprietary framework to help readers assess the relative performance of potential partners.

“The electric vehicle value chain is growing so integrated that battery makers must have strong partnerships with one or more automakers,” said Kevin See, a Lux analyst and the report’s lead author. “These relationships are necessary to build credibility and drive new business, as illustrated by Li-ion battery-maker LG Chem, whose strong partnerships propelled it to the top position in our rankings.”

To assess the partnership potential of energy storage developers targeting the electric vehicle market, Lux Research assigned scores for each company’s technical value, business execution, and maturity. Based on these scores, analysts plotted each company’s relative potential on the Lux Innovation Grid, which comprises four quadrants: Dominant, High-Potential, Long-Shot, and Undistinguished. Among the report’s highlights:

  • LG Chem Power leads the Li-ion battery-maker pack. LG Chemical subsidiary LG Chem Power sits atop the grid’s Dominant quadrant, with strong technical value, due to its high-energy lithium-manganese-spinel-based cells and strong cycle life – at costs that are among the most competitive in the market. Its multitude of supply partnerships with the likes of GM, Eaton, and Ford, however, are what justify the company’s strong business execution score.
  • A123 and Ener1 garner more headlines than momentum. Media darlings A123 and Ener1 land well out of the Dominant quadrant of the Lux Innovation Grid. Motivated by the potential for major automotive supply deals, both were originally building significant manufacturing capacity. But despite a few minor partnerships, neither has scored a major deal that will drive significant revenue.
  • Among supercapacitor suppliers, Maxwell stands alone. Maxwell leads the Dominant quadrant of the Lux Innovation Grid for supercapacitors. Its high score for technical value derives from cost competitiveness and strong device performance, while its high business execution score stems from multiple partnerships – among them, supply deals for applications including hybrid buses and micro-hybrids, and more recently in starter modules for commercial diesel vehicles.

“Using Partnerships to Stay Afloat in the Electric Vehicle Storm,” is part of the Lux Electric Vehicles Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the weekly Lux Research Electric Vehicles Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.


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