Maxwell’s entire line of ultracapacitor products.

Maxwell’s entire line of ultracapacitor products.

Ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SK Innovation, Korea's lithium-ion manufacturer and one of Daimler's EV supplier.  The MoU lays out plans to develop "hybrid" (not hybrid vehicles) energy storage solutions with both ultracapacitor and li-ion cells.

The partners intend to explore and identify global commercial opportunities for such a product, which will be able to provide high power and at the same time high energy density. Of course, performance in both areas will be lower than ultracapacitors or li-ion alone, but the combination of both features could be valuable in some applications.

In the press release, there is no specific mention of electric vehicles, but the transporatation market will be considered.

Stephen J. Kim of SK Innovation's battery division remarked:

"As our name implies, we are seeking to move beyond the limitations of existing technologies  to develop and deliver products that better meet the requirements of the most demanding energy storage and power delivery applications. Our goal is to develop truly differentiated products that will create large new opportunities for both companies."

David Schramm, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer commented:

"While our respective products currently meet the needs of many applications as stand-alone solutions, Maxwell has always believed that ultracapacitors and batteries can be integrated to provide optimized products that offer the best of both worlds in terms of energy and power. We are very pleased to have found a major lithium-ion battery producer in SK Innovation that is willing to invest in joint product and market exploration."

Maxwell already introduced its Engine Start Module (ESM) designed to accompany lead-acid batteries in fleet vehicles to deliver quick-burst power in sub-zero weather, eliminating the issue of cold starting (see videos below), so maybe this is another small step towards EV/PHEV territory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Gq4zTUU3Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwCb8sexPno