Hybrid vehicles are already a significant part of the vehicle market — and there’s a good reason for it. They can be driven over long distances without refuelling, and they also have extra power and speed when needed. They consume less fuel than gasoline-powered vehicles, which reduces harmful effects on the environment, but they can also use “fuel” which, for many drivers, feels like a safety net.

In the past decade, electric vehicles — whether completely or partially propelled by electrical power — have become more and more popular and diverse. For example, there are now battery-controlled electric vehicles, power-device electric vehicles and cross-breed electric vehicles, all of which have their own pros.

Hybrids are often seen as an intermediary step, but, even by themselves, they can make a massive difference — especially given recent innovations. Among these, one particularly significant innovation has started standing out: supercapacitors.

A supercapacitor is a fast-charging mechanism that would rapidly charge hybrid vehicle batteries and work in conjunction with the vehicle’s gasoline engine to propel the vehicle. Installing supercapacitors in hybrid vehicles, would allow them to travel longer distances with high power control and efficiency. Essentially, supercapacitors would act as these vehicles’ fuel banks for propulsion.

Benefits of Using Supercapacitors to Propel Hybrid Vehicles

In a hybrid vehicle, supercapacitors would combine the capacitors and the battery to create a steady electric circuit. This combination would meet the need for a stable power bolster on the vehicle’s transmission and would power the automobile when needed. Better variants of this superconductor design are used in Formula One racing cars; half and half power units provide extra speed when these vehicles are competing in a race.

Also, the supercapacitors would regulate fuel consumption in hybrid vehicles. Hybrid capacitors work on the principle of fast-charging and slow discharge of the battery. Due to electric charging, fuel use is limited. This means hybrid vehicles have no exhaust system. As a result, there are no negative effects on the environment.

How Supercapacitors Help Hybrid Vehicle Power Transmission

Supercapacitors will divert 100% of the energy in the batteries towards the transmission in hybrid vehicles. These capacitors would work with an electric vehicle’s alternator.

The power transmission of the hybrid vehicles will have switch gears as the key component in its function. The switch gears convert and combine the power produced by both the internal combustion engine and the alternators into one stream. This will guide the system to work as one unit when a boost of power is required.

Also, switch gears could possibly allow hybrid vehicles to run using any one of their power sources when required. This would enable the supercapacitors to rest when the internal combustion engine is in use.

A KERS (kinetic energy recycling system) in an electric vehicle would transfer wasted energy from the internal combustion engine to the vehicle’s batteries and capacitors. The power from the KERS is most reliable when the engine is revving in a stationary vehicle so that all of the energy from the internal combustion engine is saved in the vehicle battery. For this purpose, capacitors are better than flywheels for storing the energy produced by an internal combustion engine.

Impact of Using Hybrid Vehicles with Supercapacitors on the Global Community

As technological advancements are made, hybrid vehicles are becoming much more efficient and showing greater potential. In future, the gasoline system would come into play only to start the vehicle. Overall, hybrid vehicles will lead to a better future by reducing pollution levels and scaling back the use of non-renewable resources.

Hybrid vehicles with supercapacitors will have a major impact on the global community if the market is ready to accept them. But, before there can be widespread adoption, these vehicles will have to prove their worth in terms of performance, fuel consumption and efficiency.

Several countries are now developing their own hybrid vehicles, which will lead to a safer environment for all and provide increasing numbers of hybrid vehicle owners with the enjoyment of driving them.

This is a guest contribution from Surya Sita krishnam raju Alluru — a graduate student at Oklahoma Christian University. He holds a bachelor of science in computer engineering and is pursuing a master of science in software engineering.

Dr. Colin Doyle is an associate professor and Program Director of Electrical Engineering in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at American Public University. He holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University, a master of science in electrical engineering from The University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University. 

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