Global consumption of lead-acid batteries is leading to an increased demand for lead. A study by the International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) suggests that lead demand will increase 5% for the year 2013 and a further 4.6% in 2014.
The ILZSG further suggested that lead demand in the US alone is anticipated to rise by 7.6% in 2013 due to sales of new vehicles and replacement batteries. Things do not look so bright for 2014 in the US, with only 1.5% growth estimated, however the trend of lead-acid batteries in hybrid cars over lithium-ion, such as the Malibu hybrid, could boost the lead demand further.
The Group is confident that lead-acid batteries will retain their strong position in the motoring industry despite competition from other chemistries because of its 98% recycling rate.
Andy Bush, International Lead Association’s (ILA) Managing Director said: “Lead’s credentials as the most recycled of all major metals, coupled with its easy availability, make lead one of the most sustainable materials in the modern world.”
This sustainability is something Alistair Davidson of the ILA believes makes lead attractive to policy makers around the world. He said they recognise the necessity to address the negative environmental and social impacts associated with raw material extraction and production.