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Lithium-ion and NiMH will not feature in future EVs

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 00:00 -- Paul Crompton
Lithium-ion and NiMH will not feature in future EVs

Lithium-ion and nickel metal-hydride will not feature in the long-term future of electric vehicles, according to Dr Peter Harrop, chairman of market research company IDTechEx.

He made the comments in an exclusive interview with BBB during the IDTechEX conference in Berlin last week.

Harrop claims the chemistry has reached its potential and will one day be usurped by other, higher energy-density chemistries. He went on to claim that nickel metal hydride was already ‘dead’ as an option.

Harrop suggested lithium-sulfur (read our in-depth look at the chemistry in the latest edition of BEST magazine ADD LINK) as a possible winner in future energy storage markets.

“We are in an age of lithium-ion and for the next 10 years it’s the winner, but by 2026 that might not be the case,” he said.

“I don’t know of anybody saying that it’s anything other than lithium-ion for now because other [chemistries] have a shed load of problems, despite having theoretically higher energy densities.

“So for the next 10 years lithium-ion is the winner by a mile, from robot vacuum cleaners to aircraft, but its end-game will be in 20-30 years.”

He added that he was unsure of which chemistry would become the dominant market leader after lithium-ion batteries.

“Well there’s a huge choice, especially in terms of energy density, with the front-runner being lithium-sulfur, but I cannot say that definitely,” he said.

He was more certain of the future of NiMH, saying ‘it’s dead but it would not lie down’.