What does the ultracapacitor do better than anything else? Provide short-term high power for many, many cycles. There are not many applications better suited for that capability than engine cranking in a start-stop vehicle.
An average non-start-stop-equipped automobile might need to crank the engine four times per day over the course of a 15-year lifetime, requiring a total of fewer than 22,000 engine crank cycles. However, a vehicle equipped with start-stop functionality and driving in urban conditions will crank the engine an astounding 600,000 times or more over its lifespan.
What makes anyone think that today’s vehicular systems, especially the energy storage and power delivery systems, are up to the task? They aren’t, so why try to promote them as if they were? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and forcing a lead-acid battery into that kind of engine-cranking demand is folly. The two-lead-battery system is no better and might even be worse, since it carries all kinds of incidental undesirables, such as extra cabling, extra cost, the weight of another battery, and the obvious lifetime limitations of the lead-acid technology.
The better answer to engine cranking is ultracapacitors. The discerning public will ultimately put its foot down and object to the limited performance and unreliable characteristics of the cheap-and-easy start-stop solution and will demand the technology that is tailor-made for the application. The ultracapacitor will start the engine more quickly, making for a more seamless and comfortable driving experience. Further, it will last the life of the vehicle without maintenance, and the lead-acid battery that remains for supplying vehicular energy will also last longer and behave more reliably when alleviated of the demands of engine cranking.
The time has come for the consumer to stop tolerating a solution designed for getting out of the warranty period and no further. Paying any amount of money for a system that doesn’t work is too much. It’s time for ultracapacitors, the reliability and performance enablers, to take over the start-stop market. The public can make that happen by not accepting underperforming systems.
And just think of all the money the automotive OEMs will save (which can be passed along to the consumer) by not having to include that funny switch that disables the lead-battery-based start-stop functionality in vehicles because it doesn’t work correctly. Who wants to pay for something he or she cannot use?