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No, we are not talking about little cars. Instead a report forecasts the inexorable creep of electric and hybrid tech into more and more gas cars to improve their performance.

We are talking regen brakes, battery storage, engine start-stop systems (and little green balls in the dash?) A recent report from Lux, a firm specializing in emerging technologies, makes the bold claim that by 2017 micro-hybrids "will dominate the automotive market," gaining 42 percent of the overall light-duty vehicle market.



According to the research, absorbed glass mat, lead-acid batteries (like the battery under the Volts cargo area) will come to dominate the market for electric storage in micro-hybrids, growing at 46 percent annually

http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/61348-the-rise-of-micro-hybrids

Given we already see car makers continue to adopt more and more hybrid and EV tech for gas cars, the question would seem to be whether that trend will result in 46% of cars being some flavor of hybrid within 5 years.

regen.jpg
 

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I think that's all accurate except for the battery technology. Unless one is drawing a very small amount of electricity and not traveling far it would still make sense to go with NiMH if not Lithium Polymer or something like that. They are coming down in price and up in availability. Lead acid has worked for smaller cars in the past, but now they have to throw in all the safety stuff and structural engineering. I guess a small company can get away with it, but not mass production. Perhaps for NEV's (neighborhood eve)
 

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Any of these predictions, are just like statistics, 79.8765% of them are made up. We won't know until 2018, what 2017 brings
 

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There are a couple of dirty secrets related to micro-hybrids:
1) Current EPA measurements do not include much of the car idling at rest. Hence, micro-hybrids do not increase EPA gas mileage. Kia is selling a $400 micro-hybrid option on some of their cars, but the EPA ratings with and without are identical. There is talk/plans to change how the EPA measures gas mileage to include something to simulate start-stop driving (waiting at stop lights, etc.).

2) Micro-hybrids have 2 batteries: one normal one for starting, and another one to run loads like the heater, A/C, lights, radio, etc. when the engine isn't running. Unfortunately, lead acid and even AGM batteries do not last very long in this application and so the engine needs to started to produce power to run these loads. Lead acid and AGM batteries are more for short bursts, like starting the car, and then immediate full recharge. Some car companies use Li-Ion batteries for their micro-hybrids, but that adds to the cost.
 

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There are a couple of dirty secrets related to micro-hybrids:
1) Current EPA measurements do not include much of the car idling at rest. Hence, micro-hybrids do not increase EPA gas mileage. Kia is selling a $400 micro-hybrid option on some of their cars, but the EPA ratings with and without are identical. There is talk/plans to change how the EPA measures gas mileage to include something to simulate start-stop driving (waiting at stop lights, etc.)..
Hmmmm secrets? Not sure what you mean, as what you are implying is really not the case.
The EPA city cycle DOES actually include 23 complete stops and 18% of the total cycle time spent idling so while it may not be totally realistic for all drivers, the economy ratings of mild-hybrids with start-stop features should all generate some measurable fuel savings, plus there's the emissions benefits to consider.
UCS be damned, I'm actually a real fan of the smaller, lighter, and less complex single-motor pure parallel systems such as GM eAssist (BAS+ and even older BAS) which provide very decent returns for relatively low cost.

My wife still drives a 2008 Saturn VUE Greenline and that thing continues to impress. (despite having the Cobasys NiMH batteries replaced twice under warranty) It typically gets ~20-25% better economy than other 4cyl Ecotec GMs that I see. They are even are capable of some pretty significant regenerative braking features. The latest generation (BAS+/eAsssit) even more so. The 2012 eAssist Lacrosse gets 32% better city and 20% better highway economy that last year's 4cyl 6spd Lacrosse.


2) Micro-hybrids have 2 batteries: one normal one for starting, and another one to run loads like the heater, A/C, lights, radio, etc. when the engine isn't running. Unfortunately, lead acid and even AGM batteries do not last very long in this application and so the engine needs to started to produce power to run these loads. Lead acid and AGM batteries are more for short bursts, like starting the car, and then immediate full recharge. Some car companies use Li-Ion batteries for their micro-hybrids, but that adds to the cost.
Again, not really the case.
The life of a lead acid or even an AGM auxiliary battery isn’t really affected negatively in any way by its presence in a mild hybrid system, or a strong one for that matter. (and AFAIK ALL currently produced EVs and hybrids still have one including your Tesla so…)

It still provides and performs the exact same supply services and duties as it would in a conventional vehicle i.e. cranking the ICE, acting as an accessory supply source (engine OFF but not in Auto-Stop) , and acting as a accumulator and reserve when the vehicle is running .In fact in general they should last LONGER in comparison as the processor controlled DC-DC converters typically used to manage 12V rail operating loads and maintain the aux source SOC generally operates using better input (V/I/T) and utilizing direct feedback information (aka active/closed-loop charging) as opposed to simple voltage regulation based charging used in most "regular" cars and trucks. So that's not really a negative consideration.

THERE'S NO DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS!

WopOnTour
 

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I think these micro- and mild-hybrid technologies are like the StarTrek Borg, they will assimilate gas engined cars and resistance is futile for the reasons WOP has personally experienced (increased efficiency), and because they are relatively cheap ($500-ish) as TeslaOwner and the linked article point out.

I think this represents the gradual (or maybe not so gradual if the predictions are correct) shift toward the increasing hybridization/electrification of the auto market despite those who rant about EV's and hybrids. In some cases you could even term this a soft, stealthy shift as auto makers rebrand the tech and call it something other than "hybrid", or "electric". Example: "eAssist".

This will make full EV's less advantageous as gas cars with micro/mild hybrid become more efficient at a low cost, while at the same time taking away the mystery and fear of EV's as gas cars increasing use more of the same tech. EV tech will become "normal". Assuming EV prices come down, the public driving micro/mild hybrids will more readily consider and adopt EV's.
 

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This is the beginning of the total electrification of Amerca's transportation!

I am in total agreement on the "micro-hybrids" or light hybrids. I know that GM must apply this technology across the entire production lines (except on those models that are already electric or full hybrid). This will reduce gas consumption, reduce oil imports, and move America slowly but surely toward total transportation electrification!

Go GM!!!
 
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