Maxwell Technologies Announces Hybrid Bus Ultracapacitor Orders With Chinese Producers

April 22, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Maxwell Technologies Inc. announced that it has received purchase orders with a total value of approximately $13.5 million from three of China’s leading transit bus producers for BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitor modules to support braking energy recuperation and torque assist functions in diesel-electric hybrid transit buses.

David Schramm, Maxwell’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said that deliveries of the company’s 48-volt BMOD0165 P048 modules, which are assembled by one of its contract manufacturers in China, already have begun and will continue through the balance of the year.

Maxwell’s sales and applications engineering teams have been working with heavy vehicle OEMs in China for the past two years. The company estimates that more than 150 hybrid buses with BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor-based energy storage systems already are in service, and that number is now expected to grow to nearly 1,000 by year-end.

"Ultracapacitors’ efficiency in recapturing energy from braking and their low maintenance requirements and long operational life make them an ideal energy storage solution for the demanding duty cycles of electric and hybrid transit vehicles," Schramm said. "BOOSTCAP modules have demonstrated reliable performance and high efficiency in the first wave of vehicles that have gone into service, and the ability to connect these modules in series to meet various voltage requirements allows for easy integration into virtually any type or size of heavy vehicle.

"China’s leading bus OEMs have developed an array of electric and hybrid drive systems for cleaner, more efficient, transit buses, trolleys and other commercial vehicles," Schramm said. "Working with a number of them has given Maxwell a better understanding of the requirements of the heavy vehicle industry and enabled us to expand our presence in the dynamic and rapidly growing Chinese market. BOOSTCAP modules meet transportation industry requirements for watt-hours of energy storage and watts of power delivery per kilogram, and are designed to perform reliably through one million or more deep discharge cycles, or about 10 years of operational life for most vehicles. These attributes make them a preferred energy storage option for many types of public transit and commercial vehicles, so heavy vehicle applications are becoming a major driver for global growth in BOOSTCAP product sales."

BMOD0165 P048 modules are encased in a rugged, splash-proof, aluminum chassis. They weigh 14.2kg and are 12.6 liters in volume (416.2 x 190.1 x 156.7mm). These durable "smart boxes" include temperature and voltage monitoring and internal cell voltage management that give designers "plug and play" solutions and makes them versatile building blocks for systems with higher voltage requirements.