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Supercapacitor Hybrid Electric Vehicles Even More Efficient

Researchers at the Electric Vehicle Symposium have presented some pretty compelling data that may change the way we see hybrid electric vehicles in the future.

In their paper, “An Evaluation Study of Current and Future Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicles Powertrains,” eight researchers from Belgium presented the results of their studies. They compared the fuel economy and performance of different fuel cell electric vehicle designs, including different combinations with supercapacitors and batteries, such as the hydrogen fuel cell supercapacitor hybrid electric vehicle (HFCSCEV?), or a hydrogen fuel cell battery electric vehicle (HFCBEV?). I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to come up with initialisms later, because it’s going to be a while before these vehicles hit the road.

Until then, it does one well to note the changing face of the electric vehicle industry, especially when it comes to advancing energy storage technology. Currently, lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries are the go-to technology for electric vehicles, judging by their cost/kWh and Wh/kg ratings when compared to their longevity. After all, what good is an energy-dense battery if it costs ten times more or lasts just one-tenth of other technologies? Supercapacitors have the advantage of being both more energy-dense and can be cycled at higher rates, that is, more amperage.


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