Covid-19 Outbreak: Implications for Growth Prospects of Two Wheeler Lead Acid Batteries Market

Apr 03,2020

As electric vehicles and connected cars make greater strides in the automotive industry, battery-powered personal transportation has been garnering significant attention in recent years. Additionally, a rise in popularity of electric scooters has been in part due to remarkable advancements in lead acid batteries and battery technologies. Although electric motorcycles or battery-driven two wheelers received far less global attention than electric cars, the scenario is beginning to change, especially in developing countries where motorcycles account for high percentage of vehicles on the road. The result has led to increased demand for two wheeler lead acid batteries. However, the recent outbreak of coronavirus is causing a disruption in the supply and sales of two-wheeler components including lead acid batteries.

In 2019, global sales of two-wheeler lead acid batteries market reached US$ 4.2 Bn and were projected to increase 5% on y-o-y basis in 2020. However, the impact of Covid-19 on the supply chain of two wheelers is likely to adversely affect the market growth. With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring it a pandemic, coronavirus has also cast a dark shadow on the operations at manufacturing facilities of two wheelers, particularly in Asian countries. Moreover, a large number of two wheeler manufacturers announced the shutdown of their plants which in turn escalates the downside risk of the two wheeler lead acid batteries market.

The ongoing outbreak has caused a slowdown of China’s economic growth and is anticipated to have a negative impact on its renewable energy investments. With strong focus on increasing the country’s portfolio of renewables, decreasing fuel consumption, enhancing efficiency to deal with carbon emissions, the two wheeler lead acid batteries in China was forecast to cross US$ 4 Bn mark by 2029. However, due to uncertainty following the disease outbreak in the country, the estimated number is likely to show a decline.  

Two Wheeler Lead Acid Batteries Market Post Supply Chain Normalization

With factories reopening and production restarting in several cities in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, two wheeler component manufacturers are expected to resume normal supplies in near-term. This is expected to weigh on a same scale as the recovery of two wheeler lead acid batteries market. In addition, market players are targeted towards independence from the current supremacy of Chinese manufacturers, aiming to secure their battery supply chains.

The global two wheeler battery market is projected to grow strong going forward in line with trend of micro-mobility and two wheeler rental services. Significantly influenced by the high recyclability rate of about 90%, demand for lead acid batteries continues to move on an upswing. These batteries have been gaining traction as storage devices for two wheelers starting and power supply systems. The rise in demand for two-wheelers with high engine capacity, on account of country-side riding trend and booming e-Commerce industry that heavily relies two-wheeled transport for deliveries, is directly influencing the sales of motorcycle lead acid battery.

The influx of electric scooters or e-bikes in both developed and developing market has resulted in integration of innovative products and systems such as two wheeler anti-lock braking systems which works to the advantage of the market players. However, lead acid batteries are facing fierce competition from alternative storage technologies and being challenged by new application requirements, in addition to impact of coronavirus outbreak. Emergence of new-age two-wheeler batteries such as lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries which are steadily declining in price represents a potential threat for the market players. Over the years, rechargeable valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries gained real-world application in two wheelers, especially electric scooters. In addition to high recycling capacity, two wheeler lead acid batteries require less energy to produce and fulfill the cooling requirements for battery management systems, thereby securing the demand over their Li-on counterparts.