The automotive industry – more specifically, plug-in vehicles – will be the driving force for demand for lithium-ion batteries by 2015, surpass the laptop computers that today hold the top spot. That's according to a report from iSuppli, which states that lithium-ion's distinct advantages over other competing types of rechargeable battery chemistries will push it to the top in automotive applications. iSuppli says lithium-ion's lack of memory and availability in multiple shapes makes it a "particularly attractive" option for plug-in vehicles.

In a statement, Satoru Oyama, principal analyst of Japan electronics research for iSuppli, forecasted:
Lithium-ion at present is much more expensive than alternative technologies, costing two to three times as much as sodium-sulfur, lead-acid and nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries. However, lithium-ion pricing will decline much more rapidly than the other technologies, coming close to cost parity in 2015, and then becoming the least expensive type of rechargeable battery in 2020.
The last line is key and sure makes it seem that nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) is on its way out.


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