The aim of AUTOSUPERCAP is to develop supercapacitors of both high power and high energy density at affordable levels by the automotive industry, and of higher sustainability than many current electrochemical storage devices. There are several issues to achieve a high performance/low weight power system that not only need to be addressed by various groups of scientists and engineers but those issues need to be analysed and processed in an integrated framework.

In this project, we have assembled a multidisciplinary Consortium of leading researchers, research organisations, highly experienced industrialists, and highly active SMEs to tackle the problems. Supercapacitors are essential in electric vehicles for delivering power in the acceleration phase, which is a considerable proportion of a driving cycle, as well as to recover energy during braking which is also recommended for a sustainable energy and power system of a modern vehicle.

High power and sufficient energy density (per kilogram) are required for both the performance of the power system but also to reduce the requested weight of supercapacitors. Some target performance levels have been given in the FP7-GC Workprogramme including 20 kW/kg power density and 10 Wh/kg energy density for supercapacitors while there is also a cost target of 10E/kW.

The objectives of this project are:

  • Develop different types of carbon materials and structures as electrodes for supercapacitors in combination with different electrolytes and separating membranes, with the aim of a tenfold increase of current maximum energy density while maintaining high power density at least at 25 kW/kg. More specifically, binary carbon structure electrodes are targeted to have an energy density of more than 25 Wh/hr and a power density of 25 kW/kg.
  • In selecting the best supercapacitor cells for further scale up and fabrication of one or more supercapacitor banks, cost in terms of Euro/kW is also amongst the selection criteria apart from the power and energy density performance.
  • Perform power system simulations and parametric studies to investigate the effects of a high energy density/high power density supercapacitor on an efficient and sustainable automotive power system, and design a supercapacitor bank to optimise the performance of the power system.
  • Perform a cost and life-cycle-analysis of the proposed supercapacitors for their applications in electric vehicles to assess the business case, economic and environmental sustainability.
  • Identify supercapacitor and materials technologies for future exploitation within the chain of material suppliers, component suppliers, system suppliers and automobile manufacturers.
  • Investigate and develop recycling methodologies and routes for all carbon materials of the proposed supercapacitors.

Project Partners