Yano Research Institute Ltd. has announced that the worldwide sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) may reach 5.37 million units in 2015 compared to the 0.32 million units sold in 2005. The company said this estimate is based on its market survey concerning automobile accumulator batteries conducted from May to August 2006.
Yano Research predicted the HEV market's expansion. It is because HEV models, most of which had been made up by compact cars, has recently extended to RV, SUV, large cars and luxurious cars, and also because social pressure to lower environmental impact is increasingly intensifying. The market is expected to grow 28% year-on-year (YoY) to 499,000 units on a volume basis or rise 34% to ¥48.368 billion on a value basis in 2007. In 2008, the market is anticipated to become 1.5 times larger than this on a volume basis and 1.6 times larger on a value basis. If no alternative technology emerges and the current stream remains unchanged, the market is predicted to grow about 16 times larger in 2015 than the size in 2005 on a volume basis. At the current state, the nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery is used most for the HEV, but manufacturers are prompting development of an alternative battery because the Ni-MH's large volume and heavy weight restricts components layout and lowers energy efficiency, among other issues. Considering that full-scale introduction of the Li-ion battery will spread from now, Yano Research forecasted the market's first HEV featuring a Li-ion battery system to be launched as early as 2007, or by the end of 2010 at the latest. The company also indicated a possibility that about 2/3 of all HEVs deploy the Li-ion battery in 2015.