Power Electronics

Ultracapacitors Are Poised For Widespread Use in Cars

Maxwell Technologies has announced that Continental AG, a supplier of automotive electronics and mechatronics, has selected Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors as the energy storage element of a "boardnet" stabilization system it is developing for a major automaker.

According to David Schramm, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer, Continental has advised the company to prepare to begin delivering initial series production volumes in the second half of 2009 for the 2010 automotive model year.

"After many years of design and development work on automotive applications, this design win for a high-volume series production program is a very significant milestone for Maxwell," Schramm said. "Over the life of this program, Continental will require very large quantities of ultracapacitor cells to produce these boardnet stabilization modules."

In this application, ultracapacitors provide a reservoir of standby power to ensure stable functioning of the vehicle's electrical system when multiple power demands tax the system. Schramm said that Maxwell is working with Continental on other automotive programs, and with other Tier 1 suppliers, automakers and heavy vehicle OEMs on ultracapacitor-based solutions for other electrical subsystem applications. These include capacitive starting, as well as a wide range of energy-efficient, low-emission, electric and hybrid drive train configurations.

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