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Killer Battery Eludes Electric Car Makers
CNBC.com | January 06, 2012 | 03:30 PM EST

While Pike’s Gartner cautions that battery development will more likely be “evolution not revolution” for the next decade, his firm’s third quarter 2011 estimate is that the “electrified vehicles” market will still grow 19.5 percent annually between 2011 and 2017, compared to 3.7 percent for the overall vehicle market.

The report adds that the EV market alone will grow 48.4 percent annually, although Gartner points out that that kind of jump is typical of segments “in their infancy.”

No matter what improvements happen in battery technologies in the coming years, one green vehicle trend touted in the early 2000s is now considered dead: the offering of drive train options across popular selling vehicle platforms.

This means buyers could choose from a gas, diesel, natural gas, EV or hybrid Ford F-150, for example, just like choosing other paint schemes or seat configurations.

A123’s Vieau says the technology requirements beyond the battery packs is simply too different, and would likely need to be done on a different assembly line.

And despite the bad headlines in 2011 concerning the crash test performance of the Chevy Volt’s battery pack , analysts say that will have limited impact on battery production and implementation.

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