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The Key to Vehicle Electrification: Hybrid Energy Storage Systems

The Key to Vehicle Electrification: Hybrid Energy Storage Systems

| Jens Keiser, Senior Manager of Corporate Development, Maxwell Technologies

Automakers around the world are tasked with achieving stricter fuel emissions standards as countries look to create cleaner environments. To comply with these new regulations, manufacturers are increasingly turning to vehicle electrification as a solution. While 48-volt (48V) system architectures are beginning to achieve these standards, automakers should consider adding new features to traditional 12V system architectures to meet changing compliance regulations and achieve cost savings. 

Electric features like turbocharging, anti-roll control and power steering require high power, which places significant stress on a vehicle’s energy storage system. While automakers have traditionally used battery-based energy storage systems, more are leveraging ultracapacitor technology to compensate for the additional boardnet loads. Although batteries can store large quantities of energy for long durations, they are not optimal for the quick power bursts these features require. In comparison, ultracapacitors are ideal for fast power bursts, discharging and recharging quickly.

Furthermore, the combination of batteries and ultracapacitors results in a hybrid energy storage system. The ultracapacitors are used to complement the batteries by reducing the stress that is placed on them, and improving their overall lifetime and performance. Ultracapacitors are a reliable, durable and cost-saving energy storage technology, making them an ideal solution. Vehicles using a hybrid ultracapacitor-battery system allow for optimal cranking performance in a wide range of temperatures, from as low as -40°C and as high as +65°C. Regardless of the weather, high-power features like start-stop, active suspension, electric power steering and electro turbocharging are always enabled.

In the coming years, more automakers will look to combine standard 12V lead-acid batteries with ultracapacitor technology to increase vehicle electrification and optimize the performance of additional features. This pairing not only makes the battery size smaller, but also allows for a reduction in the overall system weight, which creates cost savings.

Increasing electrification at the 12V level has many benefits for automakers, from reducing emissions to improving cost savings. Find out how ultracapacitors are transforming the next-generation of automobiles.

JensJens Keiser
Senior Manager of Corporate Development
About this author

Jens Keiser, Maxwell’s senior manager of corporate development, 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 (BerlesmannGroup) 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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