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IDTechEx Explores NiMH Batteries

When we talk about battery-electric vehicles, the lithium-ion battery is dominant; however, for full hybrid electric vehicles (those that have electric-only modes but do not plug-in), NiMH batteries are still the most common battery on the road. With the growing market for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), will this drive further demand for NiMH batteries and stop them from being eliminated from the automotive market?

The new report from IDTechEx on “Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle Markets 2021-2041” covers this topic along with the key players and geographical markets for HEVs. Battery and motor-generator technology is analyzed for HEV cars, buses, and trucks, giving forecasts for Li-ion and NiMH battery demand over the next 20 years.

Toyota is the ruling OEM in the global HEV car market, with over 60% market share in 2019. Other manufacturers have started to eat into this share over the years, but Toyota still reigns supreme. While the other OEMs have mostly transitioned towards Li-ion batteries for their HEVs, Toyota remains committed to NiMH batteries and HEVs for the foreseeable future, with the majority of their line-up now using either NiMH or Li-ion depending on the specifications. For the relatively small batteries that are used in HEVs, the NiMH is still sufficient to meet requirements. It is also much more technologically mature and is less costly than Li-ion.

In 2020, NiMH batteries were still the dominant form installed in HEVs, largely due to Toyota. As Li-ion costs continue to fall and HEV battery capacity increases, NiMH are unlikely to remain competitive but will still see an increase in short term demand. Source: IDTechEx report: “Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle Markets 2021-2041“.

Sales of HEVs have continued to grow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic despite the downturn of the overall car market. This, combined with Toyota’s dominance and NiMH portfolio, provides a good market for NiMH batteries, at least in the short term. Li-ion technology is still evolving and reducing in price; at a certain point, it may no longer be cost-effective to continue using NiMH. Additionally, fossil fuel bans are incoming, with countries like the UK banning purely internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030 and only allowing hybrids “that can drive a significant distance with zero emissions”. HEV manufacturers will likely increase the battery capacity in order to give more electric-only range, making the Li-ion option more appealing. Even with this stay of execution for HEVs, banning vehicles with ICEs of any sort is likely to follow shortly after. This will eliminate the HEV in many markets and hence the demand for NiMH.

IDTechEx recently published the report “Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle Markets 2021-2041“. This report gives an in-depth look at the historic HEV market in China, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the US, with an outlook over the next 20 years. An extensive model database of over 80 HEVs sold between 2015 and 2019 is used to determine the market’s battery and motor-generator technology in addition to geographical markets and manufacturer market shares. The total cost of ownership calculations is compared with ICE and 48V hybrids, as well as how HEVs can help manufacturers meet new European emissions targets. For more information on this report please visit www.IDTechEx.com/HEV.

This report forms part of the broader electric vehicle and energy storage research from IDTechEx, which tracks the adoption of electric vehicles, battery trends and demand across more than 100 different mobility sectors. This is summarized in a master report: www.IDTechEx.com/EV, or for a further in-depth analysis, please see the full portfolio of electric vehicle research available from IDTechEx: www.IDTechEx.com/research/EV.

IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

I-PACE SUV REVEALED

Today, the Jaguar I-PACE, the first all-electric production vehicle from the Jaguar brand, has been unveiled to the world in a live webcast. Clean, smart and offering a wealth of driver assistance features, the Jaguar I-PACE delivers sports car performance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled technologies and five-seat SUV practicality.

British comedian and actor, Jack Whitehall, self-proclaimed EV enthusiast and TV presenter Jonny Smith and American tech guru iJustine, hosted a special live show as the first I-PACE rolled off the production line in at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, where the car will be built.

When it came to explaining the technology behind I-PACE, host comedian Jack Whitehall enlisted the help of the Jaguar brand’s newest vehicle experts, nine year olds Lola and Hudson.

A documentary, titled ‘Fully Charged’ aired at the end of the webcast, giving a behind-the-scenes insight into the creators of the Jaguar I-PACE.

Designed and engineered in the UK, the I-PACE will be built in Graz, Austria, as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr. It joins the growing family of Jaguar SUVs, alongside the all-new E-PACE and multiple award-winning F-PACE.

“We set out with a clean sheet approach to harness new battery electric technology with an architecture engineered from the outset to optimize EV performance, aerodynamics and interior space. The result is the I-PACE – a true Jaguar and a truly driver-focused EV,” said Ian Hoban, Jaguar Vehicle Line Director.

ELECTRIC

With a 432 pouch cell, 90kWh, lithium-ion battery pack, the I-PACE delivers an estimated range of 240 miles2. Owners will be able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in around 40 minutes using publicly available 100kW DC rapid charging facilities3. Home charging with a 230V/32A AC wall box (7kW) will achieve the same state of charge (0-80 percent) in just over ten hours – ideal for overnight charging3.

A suite of smart range-optimizing technologies includes a battery pre-conditioning system which allows the vehicle to warm or cool its battery, and cabin, to an optimal temperature while plugged in to power. By allowing the vehicle to do this while still connected to power, the system reduces the need for the vehicle to tap into its driving range to reach optimal operating temperature.

PERFORMANCE

Two Jaguar-designed concentric electric motors – which feature driveshafts passing through the motors themselves for compactness – are placed at each axle, producing exceptional performance and all-wheel drive, multi-surface traction.

The high torque density and high-energy efficiency characteristics of the motors combine to deliver sports car performance, launching the I-PACE from a standing start to 60mph in 4.5 seconds1. This instantaneous performance is matched with exceptional ride comfort and engaging driving dynamics Jaguar customers have come to expect.

The aluminum architecture uses advanced riveting and bonding technology to deliver a light, stiff body structure. Together with the structural battery pack, it has a torsional rigidity of 36kNm/degree – the highest of any current Jaguar vehicle.

The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low as possible with a seal between the housing and the underfloor. This location enables a 50:50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity. Together with the advanced double wishbone front and an Integral Link rear suspension with standard Active Air Suspension and optional configurable Adaptive Dynamics, this packaging delivers agile handling and outstanding ride comfort.

 

DESIGN

The Jaguar I-PACE is designed and engineered to take full advantage of its smart electric powertrain, maximizing the potential of packaging benefits EVs inherently bring.

Its sleek, coupe-like silhouette was influenced by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept; drawing inspiration for its short, low hood, aero-enhanced roof design and curved rear window from the concept. This cab-forward design contrasts with its squared-off rear, helping reduce the coefficient of drag to just 0.29Cd. To optimize the balance between cooling and aerodynamics, the I-PACE relies on Active Vanes in the grille which open when cooling is required and close when not needed; redirecting air through the integral hood scoop, further smoothing airflow around the vehicle.

Inside, customers will experience a spacious cabin highlighted by the Jaguar brand’s exquisite attention to detail and sophisticated materials – including the option of a premium textile Kvadrat interior.

Although classed as a mid-sized SUV by its physical footprint, the cab forward design and packaging of the EV powertrain mean the I-PACE offers interior space comparable to a larger vehicle. The I-PACE affords a rear legroom space of 35.0-in (890mm) and a useful 0.43- cu. ft. (12.3-liter) central storage compartment in a space that would ordinarily by occupied by a transmission tunnel in a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Also in the rear, tablet and laptop storage can be found beneath the seats; while the rear luggage compartment behind those seats offers a 25.3 cu. ft. capacity, a generous 51.0 cu. ft. is available with the second row seats folded flat.

CONNECTED-CAR TECHNOLOGY

The Jaguar I-PACE introduces the Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro Duo™ infotainment system to Jaguar. First debuting on the Range Rover Velar and later on the 2018 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, Touch Pro Duo relies on a pair of innovative touchscreens which work in conjunction with capacitive sensors and tactile physical controls, to make the new system intuitive to use6.

A new EV navigation system built into Touch Pro Duo calculates personalized range and charging status to assist with driver confidence. To gather this data, the Touch Pro Duo system analyzes the topography of the selected route to the destination and aggregates that information with insights from previous journeys, including individual driving styles.

The advanced system uses ‘Smart Settings’ technology – driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms – to identify individual driver preferences, and then tailors the vehicle’s driving and interior settings accordingly.

The I-PACE will also launch an Amazon Alexa Skill linked to the Jaguar InControl Remote App. Owners will be able to ask an Alexa-enabled device for information such as “Is my car locked?,” “What is the charging level?,” and “Do I have enough range to get to work?” among other things.

To ensure customers always have access to the latest infotainment, telematics and battery energy control software, the I-PACE will also be the first Jaguar to provide Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates.

 

In the U.S. the I-PACE will be available in the second half of 2018.