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A Collaborative Effort: Batteries and Ultracapacitors in Car Designs

A Collaborative Effort: Batteries and Ultracapacitors in Car Designs

| Jens Keiser, Senior Product Marketing Manager

For decades, batteries have been the go-to energy storage device for vehicles. But newer car designs are requiring more energy and more power, and batteries are being pushed to their limits. A collaborative effort between batteries and the pure robust power of ultracapacitors can help automakers achieve the next generation of energy-efficient and high performance cars.

Take, for example, the start-stop feature, which automatically turns off the engine when the car is at a stop, and restarts the engine when the driver presses on the accelerator.

Ultracapacitors are a perfect fit for start-stop—the ultracapacitor steps in for the battery and provides peak currents for starting the vehicle, which helps to increase the battery’s life and allows the battery to manage other loads. Today, Maxwell’s ultracapacitors support start-stop in over one million vehicles with the Continental VSS systems, helping to achieve reduced fuel consumption and fewer emissions.

An ultracapacitor alone or in combination with battery technology is the subject of several pre-development programs to address increased transient loads in future automotive architectures. New applications like electric turbochargers or active suspension systems are adding power demands to the boardnet, where ultracapacitors can handle the additional current and cycle loads. For example, active suspension can benefit from ultracapacitor support since it requires low energy, but high power. In addition to providing the bursts of power for the demanding duty cycles in active suspension and e-turbos, ultracapacitors offer a wide operating temperature range and long cycle life and calendar life.

The automotive industry can’t expect batteries to continue to support ever-increasing power loads. Ultracapacitors are a flexible technology that can provide burst power for short-term, high power features that typically break down battery performance over time. A collaborative effort between the two technologies is a viable solution for emerging automotive technologies.

Mike EverettJens Keiser
Senior Product Marketing Manager
About this author

Jens Keiser, Maxwell’s senior product marketing manager, has over 15 years of experience in product marketing, business development and product management in business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets in both Europe and North America. Prior to joining Maxwell, Jens held marketing and business development positions with AOL Europe (Berlesmann Group) in Munich, Deutsche Telekom AG in Frankfurt and Kyocera Communications Inc. in San Diego. Jens holds an MBA with a concentration in strategic management from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management (Claremont Graduate University, CA). Jens relocated from Germany to California in 2004, and lives with his wife and three children in San Diego.

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