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Hybrid, stop-start powertrains to drive growth for Li batteries

Posted: 06 Aug 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:powertrain? hybrid vehicle? lithium battery? stop-start application?

Strategy Analytics has released a report that outlines a potential growth for lithium battery business as a result of the growth of hybrid vehicles. Car makers are aiming to further enhance the efficiency of their hybrid powertrains to meet increasing fuel economy and emission mandates and out-compete rivals in an intensifying market, as more hybrid models are being developed.

For stop-start applications, next-generation systems are looking at adding a "coasting" feature that allows the engine to be switched off while the vehicle is in motion. This too will place greater demands on the vehicle battery. The requirements for greater capacity, more stop-start cycles and higher charge/discharge rates will be challenging to meet with conventional lead-acid based chemistries.

"These electrification developments will give lithium battery chemistries the upper hand," noted Kevin Mak, analyst for the automotive electronics service at Strategy Analytics. "Recent developments in lithium chemistries, such as from Leyden Energy, are increasing the power density and cycle life needed for these new powertrain requirements."

"But make no mistake, these battery developments are not a panacea for electrified powertrains. They merely shift favour from one group of battery chemistries to another. It puts pressure on rival battery vendors to raise their game further. Leyden Energy's push into stop-start, for example, is a result of auto makers demanding further improvements from their suppliers, who have still yet to persuade consumers of the benefits of electrified powertrains against their cost premiums in the absence of a true breakthrough in battery technology," Mak added.

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