Global demand for materials needed to manufacture batteries will climb 3.9 percent per year to $22.8 billion by 2012, a study by the Freedonia Group released this week stated.

Most of the demand will be for lithium ion and nickel metal hydride based batteries, according to the study. Materials such as zinc-carbon cells, lead-acid and nickel-cadmium chemistries will have limited gains, it said.

China, currently the world's largest producer of batteries, will have the fastest growth for battery materials demand. India, Indonesia and South Korea are also expected to have higher demand.

In contrast, the research group said growth prospects in North America and Western Europe will be in areas such as advanced rechargeable cells as domestic battery production for hybrid and all-electric vehicles begins to pick up.