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Market Trend About Power Tool Battery Cells

The main players in 2007 were TTI/Milwaukee and Black & Decker, each with a 12% worldwide market share. Bosch and Jingding are following with 6 and 5% market share, respectively. Makita shows a clear commitment toward lithium-ion technology with 90% share of their products being lithium-ion-powered. The other big players offer a share of 20–30% in lithium-ion powered tools. Further, 75% of all power tools sold in 2007 were made in China. A number of manufacturers are exclusively producing there. 

The respective market share of major power tool battery pack producers is shown in Figure 10. Market leaders are Sony, Sanyo, and E-One Moli, where Sanyo and E-One are using manganese spinel-based chemistry in their cells. 

The lithium-ion penetration of the market is faster than expected and has accelerated dramatically in recent times. This can be seen from Figure 11. The Ni–Cd market share is predicted to fall by 5% per year in the next years. The Ni–MH user is decreasing and it is predicted to vanish from the market completely after 2010–12. For lithium-ion, growth in cell amount is predicted to be 30% per year and growth in power tools is estimated to be 18% per year. 

About two-thirds of all power tools are sold at a middle price level for private users for home use. Roughly 20% of the tools are sold to professional users with frequent and regular use patterns. The rest of the power tools are sold at entry-level prices for infrequent use. 

Concluding Remarks 

It can be concluded that lithium-ion power tool packs successfully entered the market and are taking a fast lead. This technology will continue to gain popularity fast and enable further new applications to become cordless. New safer and cheaper materials like lithium manganese spinel and lithium iron phosphate will become more popular. 

The Ni–Cd-operated power tools will remain interesting for cost as well as high-power and lifetime considerations. However, their market share is decreasing steadily. The use of Ni–MH cells will further decrease and they are predicted to vanish from the market after 2010–12. Lithium-ion packs will take their role in regions, where marketing restricting for Ni–Cd cells exist. 

Further points in development are reduction of charging time to less than half an hour (80% capacity) as well as extension of cycle life (for lithium-ion cells) to well above 500 cycles. Cost reduction is still an issue, because lithium-ion cells are rather expensive.