There are over 2 million cars on the road using a Maxwell ultracapacitor-based voltage stabilization system developed by Continental.

Over the next decade and beyond, automotive companies have to achieve dramatic improvements in CO2 emissions to satisfy stricter emission standards. At the same time, consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles continues to drive automotive research and development to reduce weight and fuel consumption, manage continuously increasing internal power loads, and capture and recapture energy.

As a result, there are several emerging applications for ultracapacitors in the automotive ecosystem, including regenerative braking systems, start-stop systems, active suspension systems, voltage stabilization systems, electric turbochargers and other higher power functions within the automotive boardnet. Maxwell is at the forefront of these new developments.

Because Maxwell ultracapacitors hold the required automotive-quality certifications, deliver high power and can accept a high rate of charge, they’re ideal for automotive applications. As a result, more companies are joining the ranks of Continental, which developed an ultracapacitor-based voltage stabilization system for PSA Peugeot Citroën and Lamborghini that uses ultracapacitors in the start-stop system. Today, Maxwell ultracapacitors are installed in over 1 million vehicles on the road.

Maxwell Technologies Ultracapacitor Automotive Solutions Brochure

Some of the main advantages that ultracapacitors provide include:
Highly efficient energy storage
Wide operating temperature range
High power density
Easy to monitor (low balancing electronics effort compared to other high-power energy storage devices)
Long service life
Optimized for harsh environments
Safe technology
Established product in safety-critical industrial applications

Ultracapacitors are well suited to powering start-stop applications, especially when fast restarts (in 300 milliseconds or less) are required, and for maintaining the vehicle's supply voltage, as frequent restarts can drain the battery, Electric Turbochargers, which require frequent power bursts, are another promise application, as is brake recuperation, because the ultracapacitors can quickly take big gulps of power. Read more...

Maxwell Technologies Named a "Cool Vendor" in Automotive Electronics by Gartner >> Read more...

James Hines, research director at Gartner, wrote, "...Ultracapacitors are capable of releasing electrical energy at high power levels, and they can accept a high rate of charge, making them an ideal complement to batteries in high-power applications.”

Inefficiencies and durability questions cropping up with now-proliferating start/stop systems could be opening the door for long-promising, but little applied ultracapacitor technology in the light-vehicle market. Read more...