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The truck and bus industries are forerunners in developing electrified vehicles and the railway, aviation and ship industries are working on electrified concepts that are in experimental phases. Because of high power output and reliability demands, today's trucks and buses are no longer equipped with simple batteries, but rather with sophisticated solutions that integrate seamlessly into the various vehicle concepts. The battery is embedded in a software-assisted environment, monitors itself, immediately detects errors, problems, or an insufficient charge.
Batteries will play an important role in promoting cleaner transport. Energy efficiency is essential in rail, maritime and air transport where there is a need to recover energy wherever possible. For road transport, the battery is a key element providing energy at start and acceleration and to recovering energy during braking, as well as supplying energy to all vehicle users during stop and idling periods. Achieving a breakthrough leading to success in hybrid vehicles is on the short to medium term and will facilitate the further development of full electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are on the verge of becoming commonplace on roads throughout Europe. In 2010 the European Commission published a strategy on clean and energy efficient cars. Part of this strategy includes ensuring a market for electric vehicles. One challenge that needs to be addressed is the need for a constant, efficient, clean, safe and renewable power supply. This is a role that only batteries can fill. The battery industry is continuously developing more efficient batteries, particularly Lithium based, which have enough power to drive cars. The European battery industry has made considerable progress in bringing together research and development, sales and marketing teams to develop, produce and market high-tech Ni-MH and Li-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles, a segment with very strong growth potential. Battery storage systems have been recognized by all stakeholders as a key enabling technology to optimise the energy recuperation and the energy management of the whole vehicle with an appropriate level of safety while respecting the environment.
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