Demands on modern batteries have increased dramatically in recent years and continuing advancements are required to underpin the market for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are the dominant technology in pure electric vehicles and are gaining ground in the hybrid sector but the cost, size and range are still significant limiting factors for electric vehicles according to a recent Financial Times report.
Demand has been modest to date but global sales of electric vehicles are predicted to double this year from 2012. Rising demand coupled with design standardisation are predicted to drive down battery costs.
These costs have previously encouraged manufacturers to look to hybrids and microhybrids, which feature stop-start capability and regenerative braking. Johnson Controls says its microhybrid solution, which combines a 12V lead-acid battery and a 48V lithium-ion battery, can deliver fuel-efficiency savings of up to 15% over a conventional vehicle. They say in contrast to high-cost full electric vehicles, the additional cost for such a hybrid solution will be hundreds, not thousands, of dollars.