Maxwell Technologies


Start Strong
Welcome to the Maxwell Quarterly Newsletter
Vol 1 Issue 3
In This Issue
- BIG NEWS: Maxwell’s ESM Now a Factory-Installed Option on Peterbilt Models 579 and 567
- Owner Operator Phil Clark Says ESM Delivers “Peace of Mind
- Why Does the ESM Have Three Terminals?
- Visit Maxwell’s Blog for Trucking Articles and Updates
- Free Maxwell ESM Webinar on September 18
- Upcoming Trade Shows Featuring the Maxwell ESM
- Where Do I Buy the ESM?
BIG NEWS: Maxwell’s ESM Now a Factory-Installed Option on Peterbilt Models 579 and 567
Maxwell and Peterbilt Peterbilt Motors Company becomes the second OEM to offer Maxwell’s ultracapacitor-powered Engine Start Module (ESM) on their new Model 579 and 567 trucks as a factory-installed option. Click here to learn more about how you can order the ESM on a new Peterbilt truck. Maxwell’s ESM enables fleets of all sizes to give their drivers the superior starting reliability they demand while increasing payload. The ESM replaces one traditional battery—reducing truck weight by up to 60 pounds—and is dedicated to cranking the diesel engine. This means power is always available for a successful start, reducing unplanned downtime.

Maxwell’s field-proven ESM gives owners and operators assurance their engines will start reliably, especially for operations with many starts and stops per day or that use lift-gates or other auxiliary battery-powered equipment while the engine is switched off.* Additionally, the availability of ultracapacitor starting power is not affected by sleeper loads—lights, computers, microwaves, CPAP machines and other inverter or in-cab devices—as they still draw their energy from the lead-acid batteries.

Visit Maxwell’s Where to Buy page to find your local Peterbilt dealer.

Maxwell with Peterbilt and Kenworth
Owner Operator Phil Clark Says ESM Delivers “Peace of Mind”
Before discovering Maxwell’s Engine Start Module, Phil Clark was like any other driver, fully dependent on his truck’s battery system and never 100% confident that his truck would crank after a long night parked in freezing climate. In this video, Phil says that with the Maxwell ESM, he doesn’t have to worry about his truck starting. Click here to view and hear it in his own words.

Why Does the ESM Have Three Terminals?
imgWe’re often asked why the ESM has three terminals. No battery has that, so why does the Maxwell ESM? Easy answer: When an ESM is installed in a truck, it takes over the starting function completely, leaving the batteries to do what they do best—supply energy to various loads on the truck such as sleepers, lift-gates, radios, computers and lights.* Since the battery cables are left untouched, there is now a need for a dedicated connection between the ESM and starter. The third terminal provides that, along with many other significant benefits described below.

The remaining two terminals on the ESM connect to the positive (+) and the negative (-) terminals of the lead-acid batteries so that the ESM can always maintain a full charge, even if the engine is switched off. To do this, the ESM has a small internal computer (called a microprocessor), that controls how and when charging is done. It uses minimal energy from the batteries to constantly maintain a full charge on the ultracapacitors. To do this, the computer uses a device called a DC-to-DC converter which allows the computer to specify the voltage level to which the ultracapacitors are charged. Since the computer also has a way to measure temperature, it can increase charge voltage as high as 16.2 volts during cold temperatures. By comparison, the truck’s electrical system charges the batteries only to a single voltage while batteries quickly lose cranking power in cold temperatures.

At the other end of the thermometer, the ESM can recognize (and respond to) very high temperature levels that represent potential damage to the ultracapacitors.* In such cases, the computer can lower the charge voltage to as low as 12 volts, or even cease charging entirely if temperature rises above 185°F. By doing this, ESM product life is optimized.

The computer and DC-to-DC converter are capable of operation even if the voltage coming in from the batteries is only 10 volts. When taken down to 10 volts, a lead-acid battery is considered to be 100% discharged. Even then, the ESM’s computer and DC-to-DC converter remain operational, keeping the ESM ultracapacitors at 100% state of charge.

Amazingly, a brand new (and completely discharged) ESM can be installed in a truck with batteries that have been severely discharged (to less than 11 volts).* In less than 30 minutes, the ESM computer will scavenge enough energy from the batteries to fully charge the ESM and start the truck.

In summary, the design of the microprocessor and DC-to-DC converter in the ESM make it the most advanced, state-of-the-art, diesel engine starting system on the market. It is capable of:

• When properly installed, maintain the ESM at full voltage even when the engine is switched off for weeks or even months at a time

• Raise cranking voltage as high as 16.2 volts in cold weather to compensate for increased power required by the engine to start

• Actively protect the ultracapacitors from extreme temperature conditions

• Once installed properly, maintain full charge on the ESM ultracapacitors and start the engine when the battery voltage is fully discharged*

• Fully charge a new ESM and start the engine when the batteries are fully discharged they are completely unable to crank the engine*

The ESM makes jump-starts a thing of the past. It saves fuel by providing drivers with the confidence and reassurance they need to shut the engine off during cold temperatures. Lastly, uptime is further enhanced by the long service life of the ESM.
Visit Maxwell’s Blog for Trucking Articles and Updates
Are you curious to know what Maxwell is up to in the trucking industry? Stay up-to-date on the latest news and tech tips from Maxwell by visiting our official blog at The latest trucking news includes:

Have you been on the road with a Maxwell ESM? If so, we’d like to hear your story. Send an email to and share how the ESM has helped you with overcoming battery problems, weather challenges, jump-starts, or anything else you encounter as a professional driver. You could be our next “On the Road” customer feature!
Free Maxwell ESM Webinar on September 18
Sign up for Maxwell’s free webinar on Friday, September 18 for a one hour introduction to the ESM. Engine Start Field Applications Manager Sean Flatley will discuss starting problems and solutions, and will provide an overview of the ESM, its features, installation, and where to purchase the product. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Register soon—space is limited!

Sign Up
Free Webinar
Upcoming Conferences & Trade Shows
Featuring the Maxwell ESM


2015 TMC Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competition
Orlando, FL


International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE)
Louisville, KY


ATA American Trucking Association Conference and Exhibition
Philadelphia, PA
Where Do I Buy the ESM?
To locate a Maxwell ESM distributor near you, visit our “Where to Buy” page and enter your city or zip code. Or, you can give us a call or shoot us an email at (877) 511- 4324 or We look forward to serving you.

Where to buy
How to Contact Us:
ESM Technical Support: 888-890-3337
Telephone: 858-503-3300
Fax: 858-503-3301
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*Lead acid batteries still power ECM/ECU. Results may vary. Additional terms and conditions, including the limited warranty, apply at the time of purchase. See the warranty details and datasheet for applicable operating and use requirements.