Rechargeable batteries, largely encompassing secondary electrochemical cells, have a profound role in multiple industries and hold the potential to become a disrupting element for future infrastructures. The market of rechargeable batteries is rapidly expanding, fueled by the growing utilization of secondary cells in portable electronic devices, electric mobility solutions, grid energy storage and also a growing use within the general industry. This survey brings you the comparative progress map of innovative rechargeable battery technologies, aiming to take on conventional Lithium-ion batteries, as well as the updated development and commercialization status of each technology.
The landscape of rechargeable battery technologies has changed a lot over more than a century long era of batteries. For some, however, it would be a surprise that the mainstream rechargeable battery technology has remained the same - the conventional lead-acid battery. Only towards the end of the 20th century another technology with superior specific energy capacity and longer lifetime allowed the emergence of mobile devices: this was Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) in late 1980s. Shortly after that, the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology emerged, becoming commercialized in 1991. During the 1990s, both NiMH and Li-ion manufacturing had been aggressively expanded. Though, by the early 2000s, the Li-ion technology emerged as the winner of this competition. And here we are - the lead-acid battery is still the most dominant technology in the field, ruling over the automotive sector via a low cost lead-acid accumulator installed in almost every internal combustion car, and being the most widespread solution for offgrid energy storage. NiMH technology is a niche solution for rechargeable batteries, some electric vehicles and some sorts of mobile devices. Finally, the Li-ion technology is an undisputed leader of the mobile device world, increasingly penetrates the automotive sector as the key component of plug-in electric vehicles, and begins first steps in the new segment of distributed grid energy storage.