In advance of updating its OEM Hybrid Vehicle Strategies Report and from recent interviews with technology specialists, Strategy Analytics has concluded that there will be potential growth for lithium battery business in its recent insight report, New Hybrid & Stop-Start Powertrains Offer Greater Potential For Lithium Batteries.
Auto makers are now aiming to further enhance the efficiency of their hybrid powertrains, to meet tightening fuel economy and emission mandates and out-compete rivals in an intensifying market, as more hybrid models are being developed. To enhance efficiency further, the level of electric drive will increase, thus requiring batteries that can hold more energy.
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," says 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 favor 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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