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In the realm of vehicle electrification, EEStor and its super-duper ultra-capacitors are roughly the equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever for video game players. The creators of both products have made impressive claims and repeatedly promised public demonstrations and introductions for many years. In both cases, the creators have missed every single promised date with nothing to show for it.

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Vapor vs. vapor? That could be the case as super-secretive EEStor could potentially face competition in the ultra-capacitor space from Recapping. We've never heard of Recapping before, but the startup is backed by Khosla Ventures and recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Following EEStor's permittivity announcement on Earth Day last week, I wrote a post that ended with a call for our readers to determine if the stated "relative permittivity of 22,500" was a big deal or not. There were some educated responses (thank you), but one refrain that kept appearing was that everyone is waiting for a real and physical demonstration of the company's supposedly amazing ultracapacitor. "Until then," some of you wrote, "stfu EEStor."

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Stop the presses! We've finally got some real information regarding EEStor's highly secretive capacitor-based energy storage system, though it's not exactly coming from the company itself. It seems that EEStor recently filed for patents of its new technology, which centers around a core of aluminum coated barium titanate powder immersed in a polyethylene terephthalate plastic matrix, and they've now been granted those patents. The best part for those of us who've been following the company's dev

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Kia is reportedly considering the use of ultra-capacitors to store electrical energy in the next generation version of its fuel cell vehicle. Ultra caps have an advantage over batteries in that they can absorb and release energy much more quickly. Unfortunately, they don't have as much capacity and are currently much more expensive. There is a lot of work being done on capacitors and EEStor has made claims of tremendous progress. So far, though, EEStor has not publicly demonstrated any prototype

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About a year ago, Maxwell Technologies told the world about the Chinese government using its ultracapacitors in various official vehicles. Another July brings another announcement, and so we learn that the city of Milan, Italy will soon be using Maxwell's ultracap modules in its hybrid and electric buses. The 125-volt BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor modules will store energy from the bus' brakes and then spit it back out for torque assist when the driver steps on the accelerator. Overhead electric line

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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 Verbr

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Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new type of capacitor which allows up to seven times the electrical storage potential as standard capacitors available today. The breakthrough apparently is a polymer called PVDF which can act as a high-performance dielectric, which is an insulating material between two metal surfaces. Electricians are used to using a dielectric grease on electrical connections, so this may be a familiar concept to some of our readers.

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