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    IDTechEx Examines Battery Technology in Various Vehicle Segments

    The electrification of cars has been at the forefront of the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) and the demand for Li-ion batteries. However, the electric revolution goes beyond just passenger cars. There are significant opportunities in other transport applications that are crucial for ongoing decarbonization efforts. According to IDTechEx, the market for non-car electric vehicle batteries is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.8% from 2023 to 2034. The IDTechEx report titled “Li-ion Batteries and Battery Management Systems for Electric Vehicles 2024-2034” provides forecasts for electric cars, trucks, vans, buses, and micro EVs in terms of GWh and US$B.

    Battery chemistries differ across different segments of electric vehicles. Manufacturers are using various chemistries to meet the specific needs of each segment. High nickel content NMC and NCA batteries are preferred for electric cars due to their ability to enhance energy density and increase range. However, these batteries may sacrifice stability and cycle life. As a result, mid-nickel NMC variants like NMC 532 and 622 are still popular for applications that require higher throughput and higher daily mileage, such as commercial delivery vans and trucks. Electrification in these segments is driven not only by environmental concerns but also by the compelling total cost of ownership (TCO) arguments.

    In Europe and North America, turnkey pack manufacturers tend to favor NMC-based chemistries over LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries due to their superior energy density. Cycle life and C-rate performance of NMC batteries can be equally competitive, if not better, than LFP batteries. This highlights the overlap in performance characteristics of different chemistries and emphasizes the significance of cell and pack design beyond just the choice of chemistry.

    For 2-3 wheelers and micro-cars, which are especially important in regions like India and China, cost considerations play a significant role in battery choices. Lithium-ion batteries are gradually replacing low-cost lead-acid batteries in these segments. Na-ion batteries are also emerging as a promising alternative for these lower-power mobility applications due to their potential for improved cost-effectiveness and safety profiles.

    While cell-to-pack (CTP) battery designs have gained popularity in the electric car market, modularity still has advantages, especially in certain commercial EV sectors. Modular pack designs allow manufacturers to supply multiple sectors and vehicle models without the need for fundamental redesigns. They also simplify serviceability, repair, and maintenance. However, the benefits of CTP technology may become too significant to ignore in the long term. For example, Our Next Energy plans to deploy CTP batteries for light commercial vehicles. Improvements in pack design and energy density could enable the adoption of LFP batteries, which offer cost and safety benefits.

    Battery requirements for electric trucks, heavy-duty vehicles, and off-road vehicles present unique challenges. These segments require low cost, high cycle life, and ruggedization for a clear TCO benefit. Daily endurance or mileage requirements may also necessitate high energy density or large battery packs. Optimizing battery design and ongoing technology innovation is crucial in these lower-volume segments. Commercial vehicle OEMs and automotive suppliers are acquiring battery and battery management system (BMS) developers to bring battery know-how in-house. This allows them to enhance their electrification product offerings or meet their own vehicle electrification needs.

    Non-car applications are also essential test beds and data sources for new BMS technologies and software services. Software-as-a-service solutions are emerging to improve EV fleet utilization by combining physical and data-based models to maximize battery life. Cloud analytics provide insights into remaining useful life, battery optimization strategies, and fault diagnostics, enabling commercial vehicle users to optimize asset utilization and prolong EV life.

    The electrification of transportation is a complex endeavor that requires tailored battery solutions for each segment. Cell-to-pack designs, innovative battery chemistries, and advanced BMS technologies and analytics are paving the way for the electrification of various vehicle segments. For more information on battery technology and market development in electric vehicles, refer to the IDTechEx report titled “Li-ion Batteries and Battery Management Systems for Electric Vehicles 2024-2034”.

    About IDTechEx:
    IDTechEx offers Research, Subscription, and Consultancy products to guide strategic business decisions and help profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

    Source: IDTechEx

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