Power storage is a key challenge for many paths forward to a better energy future. Whether finding a power storage system as efficient as gasoline or a path for cost-effectively storing intermittent power to enable renewable sources like wind and solar to pick up baseload power requirements, storage is a real challenge. And, for hybrids/plug-in hybrids/electric vehicles, power storage (read batteries) has been a real challenge in investmetn. Thanks to Green Car Congress for a tip to a new study that suggests that hybrid battery requirements will be a bigger market than traditional batteries within the next decade.
Key points from the GCG report:
- Hybrid sales should climb from 384k in 2006 to 1.1 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2015.
- PHEVs are not likely to be at commercial volume levels by 2015. [NOTE: Personally, I believe this a pessimistic projection … PHEVs could explode into the market space.]
- HEV-batter market will grow from $600 million in 2006, $1.4 billion in 2010, and $2.3 in 2015. The current traditional car battery business is about $2 billion.
- Toyota is projected to have 60% of the HEV market (down from today’s 78%), Honda/Ford/GM will splite 25%, with all other automakers accounting for 15%.
- NiMH batteries will maintain their dominance, with Li-ion having 36% of the market by 2015.
Now, the report notes that hybrids might grow faster — I tend to think that they will (as long as one counts PHEVs and EVs into this equation) — if “the cost of petroleum-based fuels increases significantly” [Peak Oil anyone???] “and if the concern over global warming translates into notable government involvement … to encourage the production of fuel-efficient cars.” [Anyone not expected that to happen.]