NextGen Research Looks Under the Hood of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

The hybrid-electric and electric vehicle markets have been growing slowly for the last few years, but the price premium for the additional hardware required has always been a significant barrier to mass-market appeal. Hydraulic and flywheel energy storage systems remain very much in the evaluation phase, but they have started to get some serious consideration in garbage truck and Formula One Racing applications respectively.

A new market study “Electric and Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Components: The Global Market for Batteries, Ultracapacitors, Electric Motors, and the Electronics that Improve Vehicle Efficiency” (, builds on NextGen Research’s recent research on electric vehicles and both consumer and commercial hybrids, and presents the overall vehicle sales forecast data segmented by hybrid, electric car, and hydraulic architecture from 2008 through 2014. The vehicle volumes are used to estimate the market size (volume and value) for battery modules, motors, and power electronics.

Among the forecasts the study provides is NextGen Research’s outlook for the market for vehicle battery modules; the company expects to see growth from about $1.3 billion in 2008 to $3.7 billion by 2014.

Says the study’s author, Dave Alexander, “The most significant change over the last year or so has been the shift in attitude towards Lithium-Ion batteries for vehicle energy storage; from being a future vision of 5+ years away to the next production rollout within 12 months. Even Toyota has agreed that its NiMH battery packs are in the process of being phased out in future models. OEMs are now competing to be the first to market with a Li-ion energy storage system.”

Mr. Alexander explains that this change in approach to batteries was forced by the lack of any other remotely acceptable alternative, amid growing pressure to produce a new generation of hybrid vehicles. “The support from governments around the world to develop their own local industries also has made lots of capital available during a period of belt-tightening. Jumping on the Li-ion band wagon was the only logical choice for most auto manufacturers.”