UAV Battery Market: What’s Next?

Aerospace and Defense

16, September 2022

In 2020, the total global consumer UAV or drone shipment was around 5 million units. Estimates suggest this number to reach around 9.6 million units by 2030. Despite the demand, UAVs tend to face short travel range issues, which has elevated the demand for robust electrical protection systems. Subsequently, the increased demand for lithium-ion, fuel cells, and nickel batteries is widening the scope of the UAV battery market globally.

In recent years, battery technologies such as fuel cells have gained momentum with benefits like greater energy density that enables superior control and stability during movement. Doosan’s DS30 drones powered by a 2.6 kW fuel cell is one such example having four to five times the higher energy density than other batteries.

As per industry sources, the battery market has witnessed tremendous technological developments in recent years. This has pushed the production and deployment of UAV batteries, influencing the studied market to evolve at 17.46% between 2022 and 2028.

UAV Battery Market: Progression Backed by Funding

Military investments and government support for drone technology have soared immensely, elevating UAV battery stocks. In line with this, operating players are streamlining their portfolios regarding components and affordability. This growth is majorly observed in North America and Asia-Pacific.

The Asia-Pacific UAV battery market is expected to witness the fastest growth at a CAGR of 18.01% due to rising investments in battery R&D and defense budgets, such as:

  • China, for instance, invested $293 billion in its 2021 defense budget, focusing primarily on security & surveillance, fueling the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • The Indian government liberalized drone rules by announcing a 100% subsidy for using UAVs in the agricultural sector.
  • The Japanese government is developing an autonomous combat drone to detect energy aircraft and eliminate any missile strikes. This development project is believed to be a joint undertaking with the US, with a prototype set to be ready for testing by 2025.

Such government measures have sored demand for lithium-based batteries, which leads the market in terms of product type. Their role in supporting long cycle life and energy efficiency in UAVs propels the segment’s growth. Hence, companies like Shenzhen Grepow Battery are launching high-technology lithium batteries to gain a competitive edge in the market.

However, geographically, North America UAV battery backs the highest position in 2021, with a CAGR of 17.54%. This growth is attributable to increasing military funding, with the United States accounting for a major share. For instance:

  • The US Department of Transportation FAA invested $2.7 million to support research on UAVs used in disaster preparedness, creating a high demand for Li-ion, fuel cells, etc.
  • The Federal government allocated around $7.5 billion to the Pentagon for the employment of numerous robotic technologies, including UAVs, for air, ground, maritime, and other domains.
  • Transport Canada introduced a Drone Strategy to 2025 program to provide a strategic vision for drones, raising awareness about their significance and untapped economic potential that will drive the sector’s growth.

Industry-wise Outlook: Surveillance Measures Widens Scope

Commercial, consumer, and industry verticals are key categories supporting the market’s growth. Among these, Defense, government, & law enforcement secures the majority of shares in the industry vertical segment. The high demand in the sector has guided companies like Boeing to develop drones like MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueling. In 2021, the drone completed carrier-based testing. And in early 2022, it became the first drone to refuel a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. As a result, prominent players like General Atomics Aeronautical and AeroVironment Inc have integrated new technologies to develop high-endurance batteries, thereby creating opportunities for the UAV battery market.

Commercial Drones to Star with Augmented Applications

Over the last few years, the commercial application of drones has expanded from photography to monitoring agricultural land, paving the path for smart operations. Their adoption in the e-commerce sector is also expected to soar over the near future. Companies like Amazon are fueling the adoption with the launch of Prime Air Fixed-wing Drones for delivery purposes. Although the market is projected to strengthen, it faces certain challenges such as:

  • Issues arise from a series of electrical malfunctions mid-flight and other thermal runaway complications.
  • Stringent regulations that are restricting the transport of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Nevertheless, the ongoing expansion in industries and capitalization from geographies are projected to create prospects for the UAV battery market over the forecast period.

FAQs:

Q1) What is the size of the UAV battery market?
The UAV battery market was valued at $4500.80 million in 2021 and is expected to attain around $13481.66 million by the year 2028.

Q2) Who are the big players in the UAV battery market?
Plug Power, Intelligent Energy, Sion Power, Eagle Picher Technologies, Inventus Power, Shenzhen Grepow Battery, Epsilor, HES Energy Systems, RRC Power Solutions, and Doosan Corporation are some players studied in the report.
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