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NiMH Batteries and Hybrids Still Have a Future says IDTechEX

A new report from IDTechEX looks at the prospects for NiMH batteries and hybrid powertrain systems. Photo: IDTechEX

Lithium-Ion still not seen as a truly cost-effective alternative technology.

A new report from IDTechEX, Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle Markets 2021-2041 says that despite all the hype surrounding battery electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, there are still solid growth prospects for Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries and full gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles.

The report, which analyzes key players in the hybrid electric market and geographical demand for these vehicles, as well as battery and motor-generator technology for both light and heavy vehicles, notes that despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, sales and market share of hybrids has continued to increase.

By far the biggest proponent and market leader is Toyota, which currently has more than 60 percent market share in the hybrid vehicle market. Toyota is also well established, having more than 20 years of development in both hybrid powertrain and battery systems. According to the report, Toyota remains committed to hybrid technology and NiMH for the foreseeable future, meaning demand for it is likely to at the very least, remain steady, if not increase.

NiMH battery advantages

Currently, there are significant advantages to NiMH batteries compared with Lithium-Ion, including production cost, as well as the size and packaging considerations, plus the technology is much more mature and further developed.

And while there have been some governments, notably in Europe, that have declared a wish to ban sales of vehicles powered by any form of internal combustion engine within the next decade, which could drastically reduce demand for pure hybrids and NiMH batteries, it remains to be seen whether these measures will actually be enforced or technologically possible.

The new IDTechEx report, besides the current market analysis, also provides an in-depth look at the historic HEV market in China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. along with projections for the next 20 years. An extensive model database of over 80 HEVs sold between 2015 and 2019 is used to determine the market’s battery and motor-generator technology in addition to geographical markets and manufacturer market shares.

Additionally, the total cost of ownership calculations is compared with ICE and 48V hybrids, as well as how HEVs can help manufacturers meet new European emissions targets. More details and information on this report can be found at www.IDTechEx.com/HEV.

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