Ultracapacitors & Mild Hybrid Development
Advanced Automotive Batteries
Feb 16, 2005
ULTRACAPACITORS ARE REGENERATING MILD HYBRID CAR DEVELOPMENT
- BUT IS THE TECHNOLOGY AUTOMOTIVE-READY?
Advances in high-power battery technology have made a major contribution to
the rapid growth of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) sales over the last 5
years. Strong growth is projected for the coming years. However, not all HEV
development programs have shared this success. Most early mild hybrid
programs, particularly in Europe, were held back. (HEVs are classified by
their level of hybridization, namely: full, mild and micro hybrids.) This
situation is now changing, with the renewed interest in mild hybrid
architectures. This renewed interest is tied in large degree to the
potential of a new energy storage device: the Ultracapacitor - also known as
Supercapacitor, or Electric Double Layer Capacitor (EDLC). This device,
already used in several automotive and non-automotive applications, bridges
the performance gap between batteries and conventional capacitors. The
questions that arise include:
. Will the Ultracapacitor fulfill its promise?
. Is this new technology ready?
. Will it re-energize mild hybrid vehicle commercialization?
. Is this the new frontier in vehicle hybridization?
. Could it be coupled with a lead-acid battery?
. Could it also address full hybrid architectures?
The answer is yes to some of the above, but only after certain conditions
are met, concludes The Ultracapacitor Opportunity Report, to be released
next month. The Report presents an in-depth analysis of the various
electrical system designs for HEVs and their ultimate value to customers. It
further analyses the energy storage requirements for each of the
architectures, and the value proposition that Ultracapacitors and high-power
batteries?based on their current and projected performance and cost?will
offer against those requirements.
During this time of fast growth and far-reaching changes in powertrain
technology, the crucial questions facing developers and investors are:
. Which advanced powertrain vehicle technology will capture each segment of
the international vehicle market?
. Which energy storage device will power the new hybrid vehicles?
The Ultracapacitor Opportunity Report, resulting from onsite interviews with
twelve leading car companies and over twenty of their electrical system,
ultracapacitor and battery suppliers, as well as key material developers and
R&D organizations, addresses these questions. The Report further identifies
the specific technological and commercial advances needed to make the
overall value proposition of ultracapacitors meet automotive needs for each
of the vehicle architectures and geographical markets.
The Report reveals that following the first application of ultracapacitors
in the 2004 Toyota Prius and Honda Fuel Cell vehicle, ultracapacitor
technology and its potential scope of application in hybrid vehicles is
advancing dramatically. These advances have been driven by an upsurge in
product development activity by material and device producers, and in
application development and testing by car companies. The Report also
quantifies the significant progress in cost reduction and energy content
increase that will be necessary to support major market penetration. It
subsequently provides detailed analyses of the likelihood of achieving such
progress in the coming years. The Report concludes with a review of the
capabilities of the key players, from core material developers to device and
system producers, and of the status of application developments in the major
The Ultracapacitor Opportunity Report is authored by Dr. Menahem Anderman,
President of Advanced Automotive Batteries, a California-based consulting
company that carries out technology and market assessments and organizes the
annual Advanced Automotive Battery and Ultracapacitor Conference (AABC). The
Report can be purchased by calling the AAB office at: (530) 692 0140, or on
the web: http://www.advancedautobat.com
Please note that AAB offers a special discounted pre-publication price,
which is available until February 28, 2005.
With kind regards,
Advanced Automotive Batteries
PO Box 1059
Oregon House CA 95962
(530) 692 0140 Fax: (530) 692 0142