Graphene supercapacitors.

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Graphene supercapacitors.

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Graphene supercapacitors.

  • Graphene supercapacitors.

     George Hughes updated 3 months ago 8 Members · 12 Posts
  • Ian Collister

    March 27, 2022 at 9:04 pm
  • Alain Chuzel

    March 28, 2022 at 7:01 am

    A historic problem with “capacitor”-based storage is the volume needed. The article you linked to, for example, mentions 16.0 w-hr per liter. If I did the math right, a hypothetical Aptera 100 kw-hr CAPACITOR-based pack would take up 6250 Liters (about 220 cubic feet which is about 6 foot by 6 foot by 6 foot). Anyone know the volume of the 100 kw-hr Lithium Ion pack for comparison?

    • Curtis Cibinel

      March 28, 2022 at 10:31 am

      The Elaphe motors will draw either 100kw (fwd) or 150kw (awd) max – no need for a buffer using capacitors. We don’t need capacitors as a buffer or unproven storage option. Aptera is a very unique design which is built with relatively commodity parts to allow it to hit an aggressive price target. Unproven or expensive technologies like carbon fibre wheels, V2G, cold gas thrusters 😅, solid state batteries, etc won’t happen. LFP, a non-wrap cover and maybe a heat pump might happen eventually since they are proven and moderately common components.

    • George Hughes

      March 28, 2022 at 11:16 am

      The actual use-case scenario for the 1000-mile per charge Aptera is limited as few single seat continuous trips on ground transportation require that kind of minimum operating distance.

      The point is that you wouldn’t want to or, with the rapid charging capabilities of this tech, would instead opt for a maximum range figure of 150-200 miles. I mean if you can plug it in and it sucks kwh’s of energy and stores it in a matter of seconds, this ‘fill-up’ is better than gasoline in terms of time, speed and distance.

      Given this tech’s storage is expressed in terms of volume, guessing from your guessed figure 220 cu/ft., I see that storage as a factor and the size of the super-capacitor as being exponential. But even if the storage is linear, the 200-mile pack would, using your calculations, only be about 40 cu/ft. in size which could be a device that is 4ft wide, one foot tall and 10-ft long.

      If I were an investor in this tech, I’d have reserved a half-dozen 250-mile Apteras with the idea that my capacitor prototype EV would be proven by testing and making it available as an addon to the Aptera.

      But yes, there is a market for a vehicle with exceptionally fast charging and a decent range (150-250 miles).

      While the tech may fail, it would be given the best showcase and chance for success by using the Aptera as the test/intro vehicle.


      Because of you, the Aptera owner. You’re an early-adopting innovative bunch.

      • Llewellyn Evans

        March 29, 2022 at 3:57 am

        I can see a use case for the 1000 mile capacity battery.

        For people who want to be sure they never have to rely on a charger when there has been a couple of weeks of overcast weather. It will help to give sufficient range to make it to the next string of sunny days to replenish the battery. (remote locations)

  • Joshua Rosen

    March 28, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    As Alain mentioned the energy density is way to low to make them useful as a primary energy store for cars. A friend of mine was an engineer at a robotics company, they were using supercaps to power warehouse robots. The robots recharged themselves by rolling over chargers that were placed at the edges of the warehouse. The robots would charge themselves very frequently. In a warehouse setting this was practical because warehouses are small and you could easily place chargers all over the place.

    Almost no one has used them in cars, I think there has been a hybrid supercar that used them but no mainstream car. I could imagine that they could be used to improve the efficiency of regen braking but the cost involved is simply too high to make this worthwhile. Because the Aptera is so light the batteries shouldn’t be a bottleneck for regen braking. The battery pack in the Aptera are similarly sized as the packs in cars that weigh two to three times as much. Those cars have been able to achieve strong levels of regen which is proof that batteries can absorb energy fast enough. Stopping an Aptera will only require absorbing a third to half as much energy in the packs as conventional EVs which should make it easy to get strong regen braking without using anything exotic.

  • Dean McManis

    March 28, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Currently, Many auto makers use relatively small ultra capacitors as an electrical buffer that can take in power during regen quickly, and release it for better acceleration quickly as well. As long as the manufacturers can get the prices down for these super capacitors they can help recover and release near instant power in a hybrid configuration with the regular batteries.

    • Jonah Jorgenson

      March 28, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      I think price and form factor have a way to go before reasonable application in an Aptera. George Hughes provided an eye opening post on capacitors for an Aptera 1000mi configuration.

      • George Hughes

        March 28, 2022 at 7:24 pm

        I have no idea of how viable this tech is and my suggesting of it was that the entity promoting that tech for EVs, ought to focus on what platform?

        Major automakers going EV are almost to a one seeking to integrate battery manufacturing into their proprietary packages that typically include a highly specialized and tuned skateboard.

        My reasoning is a company seeking to popularize new tech of this nature including even fuel cell adaptations, might look at the Aptera as a development mule. This makes sense because of Aptera’s right to repair commitments means much of the tech is, or includes important information, including software and operating system, data, dimensions, specifications, etc. allowing intelligent use of the vehicle as a test bed … that makes you look as good as you can.

        But all BS aside, here is the idea that would sell this super-capacitor tech 🙂

        It would be in the way you recharge your super-capacitor powered EV. Imagine dozens of covered tunnels or bridges distributed around the country 500-ft long and, because of the fast-charging capability SCs of one-to-two minutes, when you drive through the plexiglass covered tunnel at 50 mph, your SC is topped off while you are treated to a wild freaking light show as part of your daily commute. What makes it compelling is the energy is free … at least in this fantasy future.

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          March 29, 2022 at 9:18 am

          Interesting thoughts here! If we had capacitors, an innovative way to charge! better than waiting for a gas pump.

          Certainly practical and doable, using capacitors to collect regen and save battery cycles.

          Perhaps we should enroll you as an engineer with Aptera

          • George Hughes

            March 29, 2022 at 5:25 pm

            I was thinking something more like production designer for a low-budget sci-fi film 🙂

    • Llewellyn Evans

      March 29, 2022 at 4:42 am

      I like the ultra capacitor buffer idea, allows all the small charge / discharge cycles that occur during normal driving to happen in the buffer ….. which can be cycled many more times than the battery. It would extend battery life by reducing the number of battery cycles. All those little brake / accelerate events add up to battery cycles.

      Kind of like a RAM and Hard Drive situation …. for energy storage.

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