Oyster Bay, New York – The vehicle battery industry is forecast to grow from US$1.3 billion in 2008 to $3.7 billion by 2014, according to a study by NextGen Research.

The company found that hybrid-electric and electric vehicle markets have been growing slowly for the last few years, but the price premium has always been a significant barrier to mass market appeal. Technologies that are still in the evaluation phase but are starting to get serious consideration include hydraulic and flywheel energy storage systems, now used in garbage truck and Formula One racing applications, respectively.

“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 five-plus years away to the next production roll-out within 12 months,” said Dave Alexander, author of the study. “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.”

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