Like Indiana Jones and some sort of Ark or Tomb or Crystal Skull, today's automotive engineers are always looking for better ways to capture, store and release electrical energy for future hybrids and EVs. Green Car Congress says
that GM is "actively exploring" at combining supercapacitors with li-ion batteries for the next generation of E-Flex vehicles (read: don't expect in the 2010 Volt). Speaking at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) this week in Tampa, Forida, GM's Mark Verbrugge - the materials and processes lab director - said that a supercap/li-ion combo might help not only with capturing excess power but also with the trouble li-ion batteries have in cold weather. What the battery gives up in power density might be made up for in a lower operating temperature. GCC quotes Verbrugge saying:
We're running the Volt power versus time profile through this combination with and without the supercaps. We wanted to show it [the early work], perhaps it will be compelling to those who want to provide ESS [energy storage system] to the automotive industry.
[Source: Green Car Congress
, h/t to Paul]