Micro-hybrids drive growth for energy storage

  • 24-Nov-2010 02:45 EST
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At the Paris Motor Show, Opel unveiled its latest line of ecoFLEX models, including Agila and Corsa models with start-stop technology. Micro-hybrid sales are expected to top 3 million this year.

Micro-hybrid vehicle sales will top 3 million units this year and rise to 34 million units by mid-decade, according to the latest report from Lux Research. This means enormous opportunity for the energy storage technologies that support micro-hybrids. The energy storage market for micro-hybrids will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 57.5% over the next five years, reaching over $2.7 billion in 2015. The report, titled “Micro-hybrids: On the Road to Hybrid Vehicle Dominance,” examines the overall market for micro-hybrids. Unlike conventional hybrid vehicles or plug-in hybrids, which apply energy storage toward propulsion, micro-hybrids apply it more modestly for start-stop and/or regenerative braking applications. Rather than using high-end nickel-metal hydride or lithium-on batteries, they rely on more cost-effective energy storage, such as flooded lead-acid (FLA) batteries, enhanced flooded batteries (EFBs), adsorbed glass mat batteries (AGM), and advanced lead-acid systems that often include ultracapacitors. “We expect that, by the middle of this decade, 37% of the new passenger vehicles sold throughout the world will be micro-hybrids,” said Jacob Grose, a Senior Analyst at Lux Research and the report’s lead author. In preparing its analysis, Lux Research developed a model that incorporated emissions and fuel efficiency regulations in various regions as well as the costs of the various technologies employed. It then applied its model to forecast regional markets for three categories of micro-hybrid vehicles and several energy storage technologies through 2015.

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