MIT nanotube-based ultracapitors may be demonstrated in a few months’ time

Ultracapacitors have advantages over batteries – a 10-year-plus lifetime, indifference to temperature change, high immunity to shock and vibration and high charging and discharging efficiency. However, Physical constraints on electrode surface area and spacing have limited ultracapacitors to an energy storage capacity around 25 times less than a similarly sized lithium-ion battery.

MIT Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems (LEES) carbon nanotube ultracapacitors reportedly permit ultracapacitors to give a car a 160 km range on electric power, and reduce energy storage units by two thirds in weight and 75% in size by comparison with existing nickel-metal hydride units as used by Toyota’s Prius.

The lab is also working on 42 volt systems and other components