A solution without a problem: Supercapacitors' endless quest for relevance within the energy transition

July 17, 2019 | Case Study

The supercapacitor industry has long struggled to find appropriate applications not already dominated by Li-ion batteries. Initial promise in using them in hybrid vehicles has fallen away as 48 V mild hybrid vehicles using Li-ion batteries have emerged as the most cost-effective way to improve fuel economy and meet efficiency standards. To survive in this stagnated market, some startups have rebranded their supercapacitors as "carbon-ion batteries" and "graphene batteries" without making any significant changes to their products; such a base ruse is intended to distance the companies from supercapacitors' widely-known weaknesses. Others have sought to differentiate themselves by modifying their products for a variety of new applications. The three most common strategies are 1) developing highly specialized products for niche use cases, 2) marketing supercapacitors for grid storage, and 3) integrating supercapacitors into carbon fiber structures.