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Lux Research estimates that micro-hybrids, like the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion, will dominate the automotive market by 2017.
Lux Report Boosts Market Prospects for Micro-Hybrids
According to a new report from Lux Research, micro-hybrids are expected to grow to 39 million vehicles by 2017 and occupy 42 percent of the overall light-duty vehicle market.  Combined with an increase of 1.5 million mild-hybrids, the growth would create a $6.9 billion market for energy storage devices, and particularly for lead-acid batteries.
The report, titled “Every Last Drop: Micro- and Mild Hybrids Drive a Huge Market for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles,” provides a particularly positive outlook for micro-hybrids, which use a small battery (typically lead-acid) to provide varying degrees of efficiency-boosting features.  Lux researchers estimated that AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery technology will dominate the storage market for micro-hybrids, growing at 46% annually to nearly $4 billion in 2017.
In the report, the authors estimated adoption rates by factoring in the adoption of other fuel-saving technologies and modeled cost impact variations, along with estimated costs of battery replacement and maintenance.  The researchers cited lower costs, fuel savings of up to 10 percent and a relatively easier manufacturing process as reasons for the surge of micro-hybrids to the top of the alternative fuel vehicle market over the next five years.
The report states that Europe will continue to lead the way in micro-hybrid adoption growing three-fold to 12.6 million units over the next five years, but the surging Chinese market will grow 81 percent over the same period to 8.9 million units.  In the U.S., where micro-hybrid technology is just starting to hit the consumer market, these vehicles are expected to number over 8 million by 2017.

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