Ultracapacitors for Electric Car Efficiency


In electric cars, efficiency is everything. Because the concept behind electric cars is its environmental awareness, every drop of energy must be used efficiently for the vehicle to properly function. This new device can help in further increasing the efficiency of electric cars.

One of the greatest power losses in electric car use is when the car stops at a red light or stop sign. At this time, the engine shuts down in order to conserve electrical energy but when it is time to go, the electric car’s engine would need to be powered up, resulting in electrical energy loss.

Current battery technologies exacerbate this issue. Lithium ion batteries are able to store large loads of electrical energy but have problems in charging or discharging, as it needs a lot of time to be at full charge. On the other hand, lead acid batteries are able to provide the power needed during the starts and stops in a car’s operational life. The problem though with lead acid batteries, it has a short lifespan as well as high maintenance costs to keep it at full efficiency.

A company from Oneonta, New York named Ioxus has started to coordinate with automakers in the creation of the hybrid battery. The battery would be attached to an ultracapacitor. This device would store large quantities of electrical energy and would be attached to a standard battery. The ultracapacitor would manage the sudden demand for electrical energy when re-starting the electric car and then the standard battery would then supply the needed energy once the car has started its travel.

Thus, the ultracapacitor acts as a sudden supply of energy when needed suddenly. The ultracapacitor can supply the electrical energy as one jolt of power able to provide a spark for a short burst. Once the sudden demand has been provided, the normal battery supply can then provide the rest. Thus in the situation at a stop sign, the ultracapacitor can provide the energy needed to run the electric car from a standing still stop and once running, the battery can provide the energy for car to move.

Another use of the ultracapacitor would be for power steering purposes. This is a problem with hybrids as the power for the system comes from a belt in a continuously running engine. In electric cars, the engine shuts on and off, so in order to keep the power steering with available power, the ultracapacitor can provide the energy until the standard battery provides the electrical power once the engine runs.