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Daimler’s 2012 smart fortwo is avaialable with a micro-hybrid gasoline engine (Photo: Daimler)

Micro”hybrids will grow nearly eight”fold to 39 million vehicles by 2017, creating a $6.9 billion market for energy storage devices, according to a report by US-based Lux Research.

Lux, a research firm specializing in emerging technologies, also predicted that micro-hybrids, which use a small battery to provide varying degrees of efficiency”boosting features, will gain a 42 pc share of the overall light-duty vehicle market by 2017. Mild hybrids, which are less efficient, are set to rise to 1.5 million, which would account for a 1.6 pc share of the global car market in 2017.

Kevin See, a Lux research analyst, said in a press release that hybrids will "provide a cost”effective solution to fuel savings to bridge the gap to more disruptive technologies like alternative fuels, plug”in vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.”

Lux predicted that Europe will continue its leadership in the micro-hybrid market over China and the US. The European market will more than triple to 12.6 million units in the next five years, the research firm said.

In China, micro-hybrids will grow 81 pc a year to 8.9 million by 2017, while in the US, the market will jump from virtually zero to more than 8 million units.

The growth of the hybrid market will also push up demand for batteries. Absorbed glass mat (AGM), lead”acid batteries will dominate the market for storage of micro”hybrids, Lux said, growing 46 pc a year to nearly $4 billion in 2017.

Theresearchers predicted that Lithium-ion will carve out a niche in the mild-hybrid segment, growing from near”zero to almost $570 million in 2017. That equals ashare of 47 pc of the plug-in vehicle market.