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World's Shortest Range EV Features New Li-Ion Capacitor As Power Source

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FDK Corporation in collaboration with Takayanagi Co Ltd has developed a new single-seater electric vehicle. The electric car is also equipped with a lithium ion capacitor that, according to the two companies, is able to charge it in under a minute. This could be the reason why the car has a range of just 5 km per charge.

The concept has been presented at the Automotive Next Industry Fair 2011 in Tokyo, being expected to be officially launched on the market in 2012. “We expect that the EV will be used for shopping at a nearby store, charging it there and returning to home,” Takayanagi said.

The EV is powered by eight units of FDK’s “ECM45” Li-ion capacitor module, with a rated power of around 36Wh (290Wh overall). Six of the modules are housed at the rear and the rest at the front end of the vehicle.

Connected in parallel, each pair of serially connected modules form four lines. Each module generates 45 volts and the entire Li-ion capacitor boasts 90 volts.

The two motors that a maximum output of 1.75KW make the single-seater EV weigh about 260kg (the capacitor weighs 40kg). The officials also said the car is capable of reaching a top speed of around 80km/h.

I really don’t know what the purpose of building an EV with a 5-kilometer range could be. Only the action of building it emits more carbon dioxide than the vehicle could offset during its entire lifetime. Truly pointless from a user’s perspective, except the fact that the vehicle is showcasing a new technology, a hybrid that blends capacitors and li-ion batteries. This approach could make a car become zippier (a characteristic of fast-discharging capacitors) and run more miles until it would need a recharge (specific to li-ion batteries).

The technology nevertheless has to evolve to be used in real applications…

[via Tech-On/ecofriend]

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