Lead–acid batteries, invented in the middle of the 19th century, are the oldest and still the most common type of rechargeable battery providing start/stop functionality in modern cars. Lead-acid batteries have a very low energy-to-weight ratio and a low energy-to-volume ratio, yet they are capable to supply high surge currents means that the cells maintain a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. Ultracapacitor technology, approaching performance of lead-acid batteries, has many advantages like longer lifecycle and fast charging/discharging. Ultracapacitors are unique in combining start/stop and regenerative braking functionalities in one device.
In a few more years ultracapacitors will become a mainstream technology, alongside with established electrochemical battery energy storage. This is one of conclusions of market study Ultracapacitor Market Forecast 2015-2020. Transport segment is forecast to benefit the most from rapidly advancing ultracapacitor technology. Replacing lead-acid batteries with ultrracapacitors may prove to become a burgeoning market opportunity in the very near future.
On 30.07.2015 Skeleton Technologies, the German-Estonian manufacturer of graphene-based ultracapacitors, announced the availability of a new 24V Engine Start Module (SkelStart ESM), which uses high-performance ultracapacitor technology to ensure engine start at any time, in any conditions. In June 2015 Skeleton Technologies raised €9.8 million.
In April 2015 Maxwell Technologies, Inc., (Nasdaq: MXWL) announced the availability of its 24-volt ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM), for improving equipment uptime and power reliability in buses and industrial vehicles, such as cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, off-road trucks, portable compressors and others with diesel engines.