In 2011, the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) went into production to add greater electric-only drive range to the steadily growing popularity of the hybrid assist vehicle. Large lithium-ion battery production facilities came online in a number of countries around the world to support the anticipated demand fueled in many countries by generous subsidies and tax benefits. Continued demand for cleaner, more efficient vehicles, led by governments dealing with goals to cut emissions, means that financial incentives will be around for a long time. A public recharging infrastructure is also developing rapidly in urban areas, which are being targeted as prime regions for electric vehicle adoption. The main obstacle to rapid market growth is high cost.
Alternative technologies such as hydraulic hybrid drive, ultracapacitors, and flywheel energy storage continue development and testing in niche applications, but it seems that the battery-electric solution will be the recipient of the majority of the production investment during the forecast period. This study focuses on the three major components that are responsible for the high prices of PHEVs: power electronics, electric traction motors, and most importantly, the battery packs. The forecast period is 2010 to 2020.
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