Supercapacitors Improve Energy Storage in Medium, Heavy-Duty Trucks

Hybrid transportation is becoming more important as demands for reduced carbon emissions and increased vehicle efficiency increase. Manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks are under pressure to implement better energy storage solutions to adhere to government standards and help consumers combat rising fuel prices. As a result, manufacturers are using ultracapacitors more frequently as an improved energy storage solution to help meet these demands.

Ultracapacitors, or supercapacitors, are often combined with batteries in a hybrid system, enabling battery-powered systems to operate more efficiently. An ultracapacitor can store a significant amount of power in a small package and when combined with a battery, it improves the power density of the hybrid supply. The battery size is also reduced, decreasing the gross weight of the vehicle and in turn, improving fuel efficiency. Ultracapacitors protect batteries from being degraded by large current spikes, which lengthens the operating life of batteries. The number of battery replacements is therefore reduced, and fleet managers can save time and money.


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Ultracapacitors further improve the efficiency of trucks by cutting down on wasted energy. While trucks are stopped in traffic or at a stoplight, ultracapacitors capture energy that would otherwise be lost. Once the truck is ready to move again, the ultracapacitor quickly releases the stored energy for acceleration. Cold weather can negatively impact engine cranking when the engine relies on a battery for energy.  Since ultracapacitors provide a high energy density even at low temperatures – as low as -40 degrees Celsius – they ensure a quick cold start and eliminate failed starts.

Adopting improved energy storage solutions such as ultracapacitors is important for trucking manufacturers who strive to meet customer and government demands. By using better energy storage systems, manufacturers increase the overall efficiency of trucking applications and significantly reduce harmful emissions.

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  • 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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