Micro-Hybrids: Big Impact
BOSTON -- While makers of grid-connected electric vehicles would be happy with annual sales of tens of thousands of units, micro-hybrid vehicle sales will top three million units this year and rise to 34 million units by mid-decade. This growth spells enormous opportunity for the energy storage technologies that support micro-hybrids. According to the latest report from Lux Research, the energy storage market for micro-hybrids will expand at a CAGR 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 – a term that refers to how extensively the vehicle uses electricity, rather than its size. 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. Thus, rather than using high-end nickel-metal hydride or lithium-on batteries, they rely instead 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.
“Micro-hybrids’ more modest use of electricity has led some purists to dismiss them as a suitable alternative to gas-powered cars. Yet they represent the most cost-effective route to achieving regulatory carbon emission and mileage goals,” said Jacob Grose, a Senior Analyst at Lux Research and the report’s lead author. “We expect that, by the middle of this decade, 37% of the new passenger vehicles sold throughout the world will be micro-hybrids.”
In preparing its analysis, Lux Research developed a model that incorporated emissions and fuel efficiency regulations in various regions, and 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. Among its key observations:
- Europe’s aggressive regulatory environment drives adoption. With the most stringent environmental regulations, Europe will remain at the forefront of micro-hybrid adoption. Sales of 2.8 million units projected for 2010 are on track to grow to 10.5 million by 2015 – representing a CAGR of 30%, by which time micro-hybrids will comprise 64% of European auto sales.
- Milder fuel efficiency targets in the U.S. cause slower adoption. In the U.S., micro-hybrid sales will grow from virtually zero in 2010 to a respectable 4.6 million units by 2015 – roughly half the penetration that micro-hybrids will see in Europe as a percentage of total vehicles sold.
- China approaches fuel economy differently. The forecast for China is that its micro-hybrid market will skyrocket from roughly 300,000 units in 2010 to 9.5 million units in 2015. That’s a staggering CAGR of 99.8% – representing 48% of the country’s passenger vehicle sales in that year.
- Japan takes the middle road. Micro-hybrid sales in Japan will grow from 300,000 units in 2010 to 3.8 million by 2015, a CAGR of 66.3%. That means that almost two-thirds of Japan’s passenger vehicle sales will come from micro-hybrids by mid-decade.
The complete report, “Micro-hybrids: On the Road to Hybrid Vehicle Dominance,” is part of the Lux Power Intelligence service. Clients subscribing to this service receive ongoing research on market and technology trends, continuous technology scouting reports and proprietary data points in the weekly Lux Research Power Journal, and on-demand inquiry with Lux Research analysts.
About Lux Research
Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for more information.
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