In the hybrid and electric vehicle market, the most frequently used storage device in the drive train is the battery. Although super capacitors have some advantages, the disadvantages have held them from replacing the batteries in a vehicle. Recent investments and industrial activity suggest that might (soon) change in the favour of the super capacitor, something that Elon Musk recently also hinted at in an interview.
Ultracapacitors Gain Traction as Battery Alternative
Ultracapacitors continue to be barely a whisper in the energy storage conversation, but recent rumblings of support from investors, government and industry suggest something is afoot. Ultracapacitors, also known as super capacitors, are solid state devices that are superior to batteries in durability, power density, and resilience to temperature changes, but they fall short in two key areas: high cost and low energy density.Ultracapacitors are used in small amounts in a variety of electronics devices such as smart meters as well as in wind turbines, but the magnitude higher cost has prevented ultracapacitors from being considered in most grid and transportation applications. During interviews for our recent ultracapacitors report, for each industry source who thought the technology showed promise, there were five who had strong opinions that their limitations would prevent them from ever being more than a niche product.