JAPAN: Capacitor replaces battery in hybrid truck

By just-auto.com editorial team | 17 August 2001

Nissan Diesel will launch a hybrid truck next spring that runs off an advanced capacitor rather than a battery, AutoAsia Online reported.

The newly developed capacitor would last the lifetime of the truck, unlike batteries which have to be replaced several times, the website said.

AutoAsia Online said that the energy density of normal capacitors is too low for practical use in electric vehicles, but Nissan Diesel has developed one that doubles the current performance.

While charging batteries creates heat from chemical reactions and eventually wears them out, a capacitor operates through the movement of ions in an electrolyte, geneating very little heat, the website said.

According to AutoAsia Online, Nissan Diesel enlisted independent scientists to help overcome the problem of low energy output but had difficulties developing a production process. When attempts to source from outside suppliers failed, the company decided to make its own capacitors.

The new capacitor can recycle almost 100% of braking energy and lasts for 600,000km (about 400,000 miles), the website said.

AutoAsia Online said that the unit is one-third the weight of lead-acid batteries and that trucks equipped with the capacitor are 50% more fuel efficient than conventional CNG trucks while emitting 30% less NOx.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Diesel Engines & Parts to 2003

Nissan Strategic Review