Lithium Ion Capacitor Has Long Way To Go

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Electric cars have giant batteries (useful for a number of things besides driving the actual car, even). Also under consideration as the primary power source for electric cars (and buses, motorcycles, yachts, etc.) is the lithium ion capacitor.

Regular CleanTechnica readers may be familiar with how a capacitor works, and the long-term cost breakdown, with the conclusion being that capacitor’s aren’t quite ready to be stuffed under the hood.

They’re still not quite ready. The Smart Grid Exhibition in Tokyo (and before that, the one in Yokohama), however, included two capacitor-driven electric cars at the booth run by FDK Corporation. The vehicle was the Miluira, built by Takayanagi (which makes tiny little cars and mopeds). The sliced-open model displayed a bank of six lithium ion capacitors instead of a battery, each with a capacity of 90V, 300F.

FDK manufactures lithium ion batteries as well as rechargeable batteries, and first considered using a lithium ion capacitor as a back-up power supply. A full charge of all six capacitors in FDK’s exhibit took just one minute, which makes a capacitor attractive as a primary power source.

However, the capacitor is still probably best used as a back-up — while the car’s top speed was 80 km/h (just shy of 50 mph) and it accelerated from 25mph to 50mph in 5 seconds, a full charge carried it just 14 minutes and 3.5 km (a little over two miles). Not bad for a first try, all things considered.

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