Ultracapacitors in Passenger Cars - the Future is Powered by Skeleton Technologies
Along with wind turbines and solar panels adorning fields and roofs in increasing numbers, the automotive industry with its hybrid and electric vehicles is perhaps the clearest manifestation of electrification and cleantech for the layperson. But what's the role of ultracapacitors in passenger cars today and in the future? We've already had a quick look into start-stop systems, but what else is there?
Ultracapacitor applications in passengers cars will mostly require higher energy density than today's ultracapacitors can provide, but Skeleton's next generations will enable a big increase in possible applications, helping the automotive industry to decrease fuel consumption for ICE cars, while also increasing efficiency, accelerating charging, and improving range and battery lifetime in hybrids and EVs.
Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities for Skeleton's ultracapacitor solutions is replacing the 12V lead-acid battery, everpresent even in modern electric vehicles, with an ultracapacitor solution, but it's hardly the only application where ultracapacitors can shine.
Formula 1 fans are surely familiar with Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, which capture braking energy and re-use it for acceleration. KERS are already in use in many passenger cars, utilizing battery packs, but KERS is an application ideally suited to ultracapacitors. Batteries have poor charge acceptance, especially at lower temperatures, whereas ultracapacitors have no problem absorbing the energy generated, over and over, throughout the lifetime of the vehicle, without maintenance. Ultracaps can also release the power extremely rapidly, whereas battery packs generally need to be oversized for high-power applications.