Australian-developed UltraBattery Completes 100,000 Miles of Testing

The CSIRO has developed a revolutionary 'UltraBattery' for use in hybrid petrol/electrical vehicles that combines supercapacitor and conventional lead acid battery technology into a single unit. It is able to deliver the benefits of both technologies and with much lower cost and longer life than a conventional battery.

Published: 21-Jan-2008

A test vehicle using the UltraBattery has just completed 100,000 miles (160,000km) of testing in the UK and vehicles using the technology are expected to be in dealers' showrooms within two years.

The combination of supercapacitor and battery is attractive for hybrid vehicles because the capacitor is able to deliver power at high levels in short bursts for acceleration and to receive high levels of power input, such as that produced by regenerative breaking. However capacitors are very poor at storing electrical energy over long periods. Batteries, in contrast are excellent for long term storage but do not like being rapidly charged or discharged.

However, there are cost, space and weight penalties from using both technologies and complex electronics needed to manage the flow of electrical energy into and out of supercapacitor and the battery add considerably to the cost.

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