Now is the Time to Use Ultracapacitor Technology in Micro Hybrids

After we moved into our new headquarters at the former National Soccer Hall of Fame, Bill Schlesinger of WAMC Radio’s Earth Wise show hosted me as a guest on his program. Earth Wise took a tour of Ioxus’ facility to learn about some of the benefits of ultracapacitors in start/stop technology.

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Now is a great time to talk about what those benefits are and what they will mean for the automotive market. President Obama’s proposal for increased corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new cars and light trucks has put pressure on companies to create more efficient vehicles. Micro hybrids using start/stop technology, in which a regular combustion engine is turned off at a stop light and then quickly re-launched, cut down greatly on wasted energy.

Because ultracapacitors recharge quickly and can handle high cell cycles, they are a prime technology for start/stop applications. Their quick recharge provides the power boosts necessary for re-launching engines. Using an inexpensive, $150 component has great payoffs, as an ultracapacitor can improve efficiency in micro-hybrids by 10 to 15 percent. This technology is already popular overseas and is quickly gaining popularity in the U.S.

If the CAFE standards are reached, fleet-wide efficiency would practically double by 2025, increasing from 27.5 mpg to more than 54.5 mpg. This efficiency can easily be achieved through the use of ultracapacitors and a start/stop system. Consumers will appreciate increased fuel efficiency, since they won’t feel the sticker shock at the gas pump.

Latest News

  • uSTART® Lead-Free Replacement for Truck Batteries

    ONEONTA, N.Y.Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ioxus uSTART® has received two fleet industry awards for sustainability by eliminating lead-acid batteries with its ultracapacitor-based, drop-in battery replacement.

    "With uSTART, fleets not only realize the benefits of improved starting reliability, there are equally important and real sustainability improvements from lead waste reduction," said Chad Hall, executive vice president and co-founder of Ioxus. "By replacing one of the batteries on a vehicle with a uSTART module, up to 15 fewer batteries are needed over the lifetime of the vehicle. This translates into 1,000 pounds of lead that will never need to be disposed of or allowed to affect groundwater."

    EU legislation on batteries is embodied in the European Battery Directive.  Its objective is to contribute to the preservation and improvement of environmental quality by minimizing the negative impact of batteries and battery waste.  As these preservation efforts expand, sustainable technologies develop to manage and mitigate these risks.

    Replacing a lead-acid battery with uSTART in a typical commercial vehicle creates measurable environmental benefits:

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