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The global drone power sources market size was USD 2.45 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with the drone power sources witnessing a shocking growth across all the regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 4.28% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is expected to grow from USD 2.57 billion in 2021 to USD 5.33 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 11.0% in the 2021-2028 period.
Drone battery and energy sources are mainly used to provide power to the relevant system in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Several drone power sources are currently available in the market, such as batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, non-renewable, and hybrid. Among these, the battery energy sources held a significant market share owing to the extensive adoption of small and recreational drones. However, to enhance drone services, there is a need to improve drone endurance. This factor led to an increase in the development of fuel cell-powered drones.
Nowadays, the drone industry is mainly driven by the growing demand for numerous commercial and military applications such as aerial imaging, windmill inspection, filming, oil and gas plant monitoring, coastline and border security, agriculture and intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR). This rising adoption of drones in developed and developing economies has led to increased demand for modern drone power sources.
Rise in Demand for Delivery Drones in Healthcare Sector Amid COVID-19 To Boost Growth
The overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the drone power sources market statistics has been positive. The industry is witnessing an increase in demand for delivery drones from the healthcare industry to deliver medicines and vaccines in rural areas.
The supportive government regulations have fueled the demand for delivery drones during the COVID-19 impact across the world. The delivery drones are expected to enhance food, medicine, and essential product delivery amid pandemics. It also helps to avoid direct contact with customers and break the coronavirus spread.
The increasing adoption of the delivery drone is expected to boost the demand for modern energy sources that improve drone flight time.
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Growing Adoption of Modern Batteries and Fuel Cells to Enhance Drone Flight Time Is a Prominent Trend
In recent years, there has been enormous growth in the development and modernization of drones and their associated components due to increased demand in the commercial and defense sectors. The key players have increased their focus on constant innovation and development of small drones with high endurance for commercial and military application. Currently, the adoption of lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) batteries is increased to power drones. A LiPo battery offers several advantages over traditional lithium-ion (Li) and nickel-cadmium battery types. Such advantages are longer flight time, high performance, low weight, small battery size.
Some key player also increases their focus on the development of Lithium-Sulfur-batteries (Li-S) for drones. This battery type offers 1.5 times higher energy density per weight than a lithium-ion batteries and has a low cost due to the use of sulfur. The Li-S-powered drone is expected to come into the market very soon.
Moreover, new liquid hydrogen fuel cell technology could mark a breakthrough for tactical UAV and small UAVs, paving the way for mobile robot development with improved range and load capacity. Fuel cell integrated drones are powered by a potent source such as hydrogen. Thus it provides a very high energy density (Wh/kg) than the Li-Po battery. It also offers no direct sound and air pollution. Thus, the rising demand for high endurance military and commercial drones drives the development of fuel cell-powered drone during the forecast period.
Rising Adoption of Drone Technology for Commercial Application to Fuel Market Growth
In recent times, the adoption of drone technology is continuously growing for a broad range of commercial applications. The wide range of applications including aerial photography, precision agriculture, wildlife monitoring, film making, law & enforcement, disaster management, entertainment, relief & rescue operation, logistics & transportation, research & development, and construction. These wide range drone applications are expected to drive the development of advanced drone power sources such as fuel cell or LiPo battery to offer improved flight time.
The major technology giant Amazon Inc. and giant logistic companies such as Blue Dart Express Limited, DHL, UPS, and FedEx are heavily investing in creating drone delivery platforms owing to the increase in demand for home delivery services for food, medicine, and organ transportation, and e-commerce platform. An increase in demand for online food delivery services across the globe is projected to fuel the demand for fuel cells and battery energy sources with an endurance of approximately 1hour to 25 hours.
Increasing Demand of Military Drone with Large Flight Time to Boost Market Growth
Military drone technology has a wide range of applications due to the vital need for an unmanned aerial vehicle in the defense sector. Developing countries and developed economies have a strong portfolio for small, MALE Hale, tactical, mini, micro, and nano-drones from the past several years. Increasing investment of government in various countries to modernize and upgrade drone batteries for improved flight time will fuel the market of drone energy sources in the future years.
Military drones are promisingly used for military applications such as intelligence and surveillance around the world. The drone with an improved flight time will provide extensive support for crucial operations such as combat missions, supervision, target decoys, and transportation.
Stringent Government Regulations and Restrictions on Drone Use to Hamper Market Growth
The adoption of commercial and military drones is increased in various countries. However, the industry is encountering significant challenges for the market expansion in several countries due to restrictions on drone use and stringent government regulations due to lack of air traffic management for drones.
Moreover, the lack of skilled drone pilots has increases concerns related to the safety of high-cost drones and other collateral damages. This factor is expected to hamper the demand for drones, which directly restricts the expansion of the drone energy sources market.
Small Drone Segment to Grow at Faster Pace during 2021-2028
Based on the drone type, the market is divided into MALE, HALE, special mission drone, medium and small drone, Nano drone, and passenger drone.
The MALE drone type segment held a significant value share in 2020. This large share is attributed to the increased military expenditure on the procurement of combat drones. Developing countries such as India and China have increased their focus on strengthening defense capabilities with the procurement of modern military unmanned aerial vehicles with advanced payloads such as missiles, EO/IR system, and surveillance cameras. To fly in the air with high loads required high energy density sources to powered drones. Thus, the increase adoption of the medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone is expected to support the drone power sources market growth.
The small drone type segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is due to the growing demand for small drones for a wide range of commercial, surveillance, homeland, and border security applications. The rising demand for small drones increases the development of Li-Po battery and hydrogen-powered drones.
Rising Need to Enhance Flight Time of Delivery Drones to Aid Segment Growth
Based on the power source, the drone power sources market analysis is classified into fuel cells, battery, solar cells, non-renewable, and hybrid. The battery segment is further segment into lithium-ion, lithium-ion polymer, and nickel-cadmium.
The fuel cell segment is predicted to showcase the highest growth rate during the forecast period. An increasing need to improve the endurance of small surveillance and delivery drones from 30 min to more than 60 min boosts the demand for liquid hydrogen fuel cell-powered drones segment.
1 Hour - 25 Hours Segment to Grow at Faster Pace During Forecast Period
Based on flight time, the market is classified into below 1 hour, 1 hour - 25 hours, 25 hours - 50 hours, and more than 50 hours
1 Hour - 25 Hours segment has dominated the market in the base year and is predicted to display exponential growth during the projection period. This growth is attributed to the rising adoption of small drones with high endurance for the military mission. This segment growth is further supported by the increasing adoption of delivery drones across the world.
The 25 Hours – 50 Hours dominated the market with the second-largest share in 2020. This growth is due to the extensive adoption of combat drones with a flight time between 32 hours to 48 hours. Such drones are Altius-U (in production), General Atomics Avenger, TAI Aksungur, and Elbit HERMES 900. The drone with maximum flight time can provide support to complete the military mission successfully.
Aftermarket Segment Dominated the Market in 2020
Based on the point of sale, the market is classified into OEM and aftermarket.
The aftermarket segment held a dominant share in 2020 due to the limited life span of drone batteries. Lithium-ion or LiPo battery has a life cycle of 2-3 years. Thus the continued replacement of drone batteries is expected to support the expansion of the aftermarket segment.
The OEM segment is anticipated to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increased focus of drone manufacturers on developing fuel cell drone power sources to offer high drone flight time.
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Growing Adoption of Drones for Military Application to Boost Market Growth
Based on the End User, the market has been segmented into commercial and military.
The commercial segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the surge in demand for drones by several industries such as consumer, logistic, agriculture, healthcare, construction, media & entertainment, weather forecast, search and rescue, and mining. This increase in demand for a commercial drone will directly increase the need for associated drone power sources.
On the other hand, the military segment registers the largest share in the base year. This dominance is due to the increased adoption of drones for border protection, homeland surveillance, threat detection, and law enforcement. Therefore, the extensive adoption of military drones boosting the demand for drone power sources with the long flight time.
North America Drone Power Sources Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The global market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America stood at USD 1.16 billion in 2020 and is expected to dominate the market due to the fast pace adoption of advanced technologies and the presence of several drone manufacturers and drone energy source providers in the region. Skydio, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, AeroVironment, Inc., Honeywell International Inc., and EaglePicher Technologies are the key players in the U.S.
The market in Europe is anticipated to grow at a steady compound annual growth rate during the forecast period. The rising investment by key players to develop and adopt advanced drone technologies to support the market growth.
The market in Asia Pacific is predicted to showcase fast pace growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributable to the increased government investments to procure military drones to enhance border and homeland security. Countries such as China, Japan, and India have increased their focus on developing and adopting modern unmanned aerial vehicles. Moreover, the market-supportive government regulations and investment are expected to witness lucrative market growth opportunities in regional market in the upcoming future. China drone power sources market is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR for this market during the forecast period.
The rest of the world is witnessing moderate growth during the projection period. The change is attributing to the growing adoption of drones for recreational purposes.
Constant innovation and development strategies Adopted by DJI, H3 Dynamics, and Other Players to Endure position
SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. offers a wide range of commercial drones with modern rechargeable LiPo batteries consisting of different cells such as two-cells, three cells, four cells, or six cells. The company uses cells according to application needs. Moreover, the leading fuel cell manufacturer H3 Dynamics Holdings Pte. Ltd., has increased its focus on developing liquid hydrogen energy sources to enhance flight time for BVLOS drone operation.
Several other key players in the market, such as Parrot, have raised the investments in drone technologies to design advanced UAVs and associated energy sources to improve drone performance and endurance. In addition to this, the key players are adopting mergers & acquisitions, technological partnerships, and collaboration strategies to sustain their position in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Drone Power Sources Market
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The global market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and market segmentation. It also focuses on key aspects such as key manufacturers, drone types, demanding technologies, and End Users. Moreover, the report offers insights into the drone energy source trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the market's growth over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Drone Type; Power Source; Flight Time; Point of Sale; End User and Geography
By Drone Type
By Power Source
By Flight Time
By Point of Sale
By End User
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.45 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 5.33 billion by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 11.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The fuel cell segment is the leading segment in the market
DJI, Skydio, Inc., Honeywell International Inc., and HES Energy Systems are the leading players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Several drone power sources are available in the market, including battery, fuel cell, solar power, hybrids, combustion engine, etc.
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