September 10, 2020: The lead battery business is not just a good one to be in but a great one for the future, according to Mark Wallace, the new head of Clarios, the largest automotive battery maker in the world.
In a sneak preview to his opening speech at the European Lead Battery Conference being held on September 22-24, Batteries International has learned he will say that Clarios anticipates the global car parc to rise to 1.9 billion vehicles by 2035.
“Our industry is poised for growth, with exponential global population growth and an expanding middle class leading to the need for an estimated 200 million more batteries by 2035,” he will tell the online conference.
According to the International Energy Agency, the pace of car sales has been heating up since 2009 when around 60 million new cars were sold. Last year around 88 million new vehicles hit the roads. Despite the Covid crisis, the IEA anticipates this year’s sales to be over 2009 levels.
In an article written for the special supplement that Batteries International produces for the ELBC meetings, Wallace said: “Through this pandemic, it struck me just how critical our work is. Without batteries, first responders can’t function; food and medical supplies can’t reach their destination; essential employees can’t get to their jobs.
“My job as a CEO is to envisage a future — a world adapted to COVID and beyond.
“Yes, the near-term impact of the pandemic on vehicle volumes has been profound. But one thing is clear: lead-acid batteries will remain essential across all new vehicle platforms. Our industry has market strength from cost to safety, recyclability, and proven reliability.”
Also speaking at the opening of the ELBC meeting at 12.00 BST, Andy Bush will talk about another aspect of the virus on the battery industry. “This year’s pandemic has actually served to highlight the importance of the lead battery to all our lives,” he will say.
“The vital role they’ve played in the response to Covid-19 – whether in hospitals… or indeed every other type of critical service or infrastructure that’s been brought to bear in managing this outbreak… is something our industry should be very proud of — as indeed are the incredible efforts made by many individual companies… to support communities worldwide in this time of crisis.”
In anticipation of the conference delegates can start to download and view technical presentations from September 15.