Zinc-air technology is a cost effective simple technology, which finds its major application in hearing aid devices. This technology could be utilized for alternative solutions in the automotive sector and the portable electronics sector. The lack of awareness among the customers impedes the growth of this market with few manufacturers in the market.
Frost & Sullivan finds that World Zinc-air Battery Market earned revenues of $251.4 million in 2005 and estimates this to increase due to increasing importance gained for the zinc-air battery utilization in emerging applications such as automotive or portable electronics.
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“Growth of the zinc-air battery market is influenced by the growth of emerging applications along with the hearing aid market,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Suba Swaminathan. “The growing environmental concerns and the need to look for an alternative technology to meet the raising demand, augmented by the favorable features of zinc-air batteries have resulted in increasing importance of these batteries. Also, the increasing aged population across the world is a significant factor for the growth in zinc-air battery market”
The zinc-air technology is lightweight, has high energy density and is environment-friendly. With the increasing improvisations, these batteries could meet the demand of high drain devices used in portable electronics and the automotive sector. These batteries are ideal to power the hearing aid equipments and they have completely replaced the mercury batteries in these devices.
However, the intense competition from the existing battery chemistries impedes zinc-air batteries to replace the batteries of conventional chemistry. With the efforts taken by the government to promote environment-friendly technology, zinc-air batteries can outperform and replace existing chemistries in the portable electronics and automotive segment. The limited product differentiation in the hearing aid segment also results in a negative impact for the growth of these zinc-air batteries.
“The limited product differentiation in the hearing aid application supplemented by intense competition by existing chemistries hassles the growth of the zinc-air battery market in the emerging application and also in the hearing aid application,” explains Swaminathan. “ With increasing awareness among the customers as well as government regulation, growth in the zinc-air battery market will reinstate by 2008”
The increasing awareness among the customers about the technology and its advantages will promote growth. Tapping the potential markets in the developing countries across the world will revive growth in the zinc-air battery market for hearing aid application.
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