Supercapacitor and fuel cell technology will “disruptively change” hybrid and pure EVs in the coming years, according to a report by IDTechEX.
The research, ‘Hybrid and Pure Electric Cars 2014-2024’, foresees a trend to higher voltage for efficiency and lower cost. Pure electrics are going to need less energy storage due to inductive pick up and better energy harvesting.
Chairman of IDTechEx, Peter Harrop, stated: “The technology will change disruptively” and highlights that not only battery systems will change, also supercapacitors in combination with batteries and fuel cells will become more important for the automotive industry.
There are likely possibilities on how the technology in the cars will change, said Harrop. Pure EV batteries might gain double range and cost half the price due to energy harvesting through photovoltaic, vibration or shock absorbers. The integration of supercapacitors might improve the range by 10%.
In hybrids, supercapacitors are likely to replace batteries entirely, the research says, thermoelectric energy harvesting could improve the range and conventional piston engines might be replaced by fuel cells. Small fuel cells shall also one day manage the load variation.
The research forecasts an increase of sales by 2021 when cars become cheaper and have higher ranges due to a longer battery service life. Especially micro-EVs and hybrid not plug-in cars shall continue to be successful in the next ten years.
Plug-in cars will grow modestly, IDTechEx estimates, but as it is hard for consumers to find a place to charge them, plug-in cars will become pure electric in long-term with an option to plug-in.