General Motors Becomes First US Automotive OEM to Adopt Ultracapacitors for Start-Stop

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- Maxwell Technologies, Inc. MXWL, -2.49% a leading developer and manufacturer of ultracapacitor-based energy storage and power delivery products, today announced that Continental Automotive Systems' Maxwell-powered voltage stabilization system (VSS) will be a standard feature on 2016 Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans and ATS coupes, excluding the ATS-V, CTS-V and CT6 models. General Motors is the first North American automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to integrate the Continental ultracapacitor-based voltage stabilization as part of the enhanced start-stop system, which lowers fuel costs, improves performance and reduces emissions, delivering an overall superior owner-driver experience.

In start-stop systems, the internal combustion engine is shut off when the driver stops and the engine is seamlessly restarted when the driver accelerates, which lowers emissions and improves fuel economy. Battery-based start-stop systems augmented with an ultracapacitor-based voltage stabilization system implementation provide burst power needed to restart the engine, thus reducing high currents and repeated cycling that can shorten battery life. The voltage stabilization electronic control results in a smooth start, reduced engine vibration and a superior driving experience. Maxwell's ultracapacitors, in Continental's VSS design, also serve as an additional power source for stabilizing the vehicle's electrical system during periods of high power demand.

"Automotive manufacturers around the world are seeking new ways to improve the performance of their cars while satisfying consumer demands for fuel efficiency," said Jon Buckles, program manager for hybrid electric vehicles at Continental Automotive Systems. "Continental's voltage stabilization system uses Maxwell's ultracapacitors as an affordable option for automakers to create a more positive driving experience for their customers."

"Performance has always been important to car owners, and Maxwell's ultracapacitors enable consumers to get the fuel economy they desire without limiting their cars' performance," said Dr. Franz Fink, CEO of Maxwell Technologies. "GM's selection of Continental's Maxwell-powered VSS is a further affirmation of our ultracapacitor capability for varying applications as the automotive industry continues down its path of vehicle electrification."

Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by means of a chemical reaction, ultracapacitors store energy in an electric field. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40 degrees C to +65 degrees C), operate reliably through 1 million or more charge/discharge cycles and resist shock and vibration.

This article originally apeared on MarketWatch.

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