Ultra Capacitor Tech Again Touted As EV Game-Changer

MAY 10 2018 BY MARK KANE 17

French company NAWA Technologies claims that its ultracapacitor technology could help improve performance/range of electric vehicles.

NAWA Technologies ultracapacitor technology

The ultracapacitor itself with energy density of 15 Wh/kg (below that of lead acid batteries) are not battery replacements in any way, shape or form, but according to NAWA integration of ultracapacitors into the battery pack could be handy.

The reason is high power output of up to 100 kW/kg (in the future NAWA would like to achieve 500 kW/kg and 25 Wh/kg).

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If ultracapacitors would be able to take care of acceleration and regenerative braking power surges, manufacturer would be able to use battery cells that are more energy dense, but can’t withstand high power. At least that is the theory, because in many cases batteries do just fine with typical power levels in a car.

Maybe that’s why NAWA Technology mentions Formula E – a performance application – in which ultracapacitors would lower weight of the battery by 30%.

“It is claimed that a simulation on the battery pack of a Formula E racing car modified to include a NAWA ultra-capacitor demonstrated the same performance and range but weighed 30% less.

The design of the ultra-capacitor is said to be unique. It offers a higher stored energy density than rivals by combining an electrolyte with microscopic coatings on the billions of carbon nano-tubes inside the stack.”

“NAWA is looking at developing the design for production. It said it is targeting premium European car firms first with the “aim of full production in 2022”, although it expects to start making capacitors for power tools and material handling firms next year.”

Source: Autocar

Categories: Battery Tech


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17 Comments on "Ultra Capacitor Tech Again Touted As EV Game-Changer"

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Goldcaps aren’t really new. So what’s new here?


Hopefully they’re cheap. If they can get down to $1000/kWh, then I’d like to see them in a performance PHEV that uses a dense battery and a tiny gas engine.

1 kWh would be enough to get you from standstill to over 60mph, or from 50mph to 80mph, so the gas engine wouldn’t need to do any work.

We looked at ultracaps before (not from this company).
We’d love to use them but they suffer from poor temperature tolerance. Some makers of these new ultracaps keep touting how they’d be a great fit in XYZ application but won’t provide temperature specs.

@stimpacker said: “We’d love to use them [ultracapacitors] but they suffer from poor temperature tolerance.”

That’s an odd finding because a known main advantage of ultracapacitors is their wide temperature range tolerance which is much wider than a chemical battery including lithium ion.

For ordinary supercapacitors, yeah. But if Stimpacker’s comment refers to the new organic type of supercapacitor, then it may be that they are far more temperature sensitive than the older types.

Depends on the technology. One popular type of ultra-caps are Li-Ion capacitors. While these shouldn’t suffer from lithium plating on the anode during low-temperature charging, the other problems — including low power output at low temperatures, and reduced life at high temperatures — should be pretty much the same as in Li-Ion batteries.

They might be good for eVTOLs.

Being used in wind towers, subways, buses, etc right now. Also being used in trucking for high power cold cranking starting. Mazda had a version of a light hybrid that was very interesting. i-eloop. My understanding is that you can have more aggressive regen amongst other advantages. There are disadvantages but instant response is a big deal.

The Bluecar (used in Paris for the Autolib electric car-sharing program) has a supercapacitor working with the battery.

If this allows more aggressive regen then would it be possible to do away with the friction brakes entirely?

Eliminating the friction brakes entirely introduces safety concerns. According to an article a few years ago about a prototype car with in-wheel motors, you can’t make a street-legal car without friction brakes.

But who knows? That may change in the future.

Long range EVs have no problem with power. A burst of 300 kW out of a 60 kW battery is only 5C.

Maybe if a cheap next gen chemistry came along with terrific specific energy but low C rate ultracaps could find a niche.

5C can still generate a lot of heat. Maybe using Ultra Cap can potentially remove liquid cooling for battery that is sensitive to power output…

I agree that it is fairly a niche market if we are getting larger and larger battery over time.

I thought some EV makers were already using supercapacitors (aka ultracapacitors) as a buffer for high-level acceleration and regenerative braking.

Even if not, it’s not like the idea is new. It’s certainly been heavily discussed.

EEStor v2.0

High power capability of Lithium Ion cells works both ways: the higher discharge power it supports, the faster you can charge it.

With energy density not being a real problem anymore, the focus is shifting to EV batteries capable of higher power, not lower power.

Great news, this can be used in hybrids plugins and electric vehicles to capture more regenerative energy. Hope slowly capacitors make its way into electrified vehicles.