APowerCap Aims to Build Ultracaps for Electric Car Batteries

APowerCap has demonstrated a lead acid battery supplemented by its ultracapacitors required only one third of the lead of traditional lead acid batteries, lasted 2.5 times as long, and worked well in cold weather.

Published: 23-Oct-2008

Ultracapacitors have been a star attraction in scientific research for years, but the component might be best suited for a supporting role in the commercial world, says Serhiy Loboyko.

Loboyko’s company, APowerCap Technologies, is trying to bring a novel breed of ultracapacitors — which are essentially holding tanks for electrons — to the automotive and electronics market in a way that better fits economic reality. APowerCap won’t sell ultracapacitors to power electric cars. Instead, it is prepping a line of ultracapacitors to charge the batteries in electric cars, which will in turn run the car. That’s similar to the way General Motors will use a gas generator to charge the batteries on the Chevy Volt, but without the gas.

In a nutshell, the problem with ultracapacitors is cost, he said during a presentation and meeting at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations conference taking place in beautiful Redwood City, Calif. this week. Employing ultracapacitors to power a car would break the component budget. Other than that massive problem, ultracaps are great. They can be charged in a few seconds and can discharge rapidly as well.


The phosphate-based Epoch batteries are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and adjust cell performance.

The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.


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