Ultracapacitors Drive Cleaner, More Efficient Mass Transit

Last year, we predicted hybridized transportation would be a hot application area for ultracapacitors in 2012. Thanks to more government funding for energy efficient transportation projects, we are seeing this prediction come true. Forty-six energy-efficient mass transit projects across seven states received a total of $112 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Pike Research forecasts electric bus sales will rise 26 percent annually through 2018. As governments worldwide work to reduce the carbon footprint of public buses and light rail, manufacturers will seek technology to make this a reality.


Image Source: Light Rail Now

Ultracapacitors are one technology that helps boost fleet efficiency by solving energy storage problems. Ultracaps can store large amounts of energy in a small container, resulting in larger capacitance and less frequent maintenance. Also, ultracaps’ lower equivalent series resistance (ESR) meets the cooling requirements of hybrid buses and light rail applications. Using ultracaps with low ESR decreases the heat of the system and lowers the overall cooling requirements while boosting overall efficiency, lengthening the operating lifespan of cells and reducing harmful emissions into the environment.

Hybrid buses and light rail applications can take advantage of regenerative braking in order to capture, store and apply energy more efficiently. Because ultracapacitors charge and discharge very quickly they are ideal for recovering energy that would otherwise be lost during the braking process.

By using ultracapacitor technology, hybrid public transportation systems will become a cleaner and more efficient option for commuters. As we see hybridized transportation adoption gain speed around the world, we will also see increasing adoption of the ultracapacitors powering them.

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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