Worldwide sales of ultracapacitors will grow tenfold from just $28.2 million in 2011 to $284.1 million by 2016, with cumulative revenue of $901.3 million during that period, according to a new market report.
With more than a 30-year history of development, the ultracapacitor is not a new technology, but its utilization as a means for storing energy and delivering power is growing in several key application areas, Pike Research said. The most popular segment today for ultracapacitor modules in the transportation market is for use in stop-start vehicles, and early-stage applications for ultracapacitors also include grid-scale energy storage and wind turbines.
“Ultracapacitors’ greatest advantages over their primary competition, batteries, are superior cycle life and power density,” says senior analyst John Gartner. “However, ultracapacitors are viewed as too expensive for most energy storage applications and the technology is commonly viewed as not sufficiently mature for transportation applications. That said, ultracapacitors are showing great promise in several niche applications, most notably the burgeoning market for stop-start vehicles.”
Gartner adds that the stop-start vehicle market is experiencing rapid growth in Europe due to tightening emissions reductions requirements for vehicles with diesel engines. Ultracapacitors have been tested in pilot projects in electric buses and fuel cell vehicles, though they are not being used commercially in large numbers in other transportation market segments.
Pike Research forecasts that ultracapacitor revenues in the stop-start vehicle segment will reach $355.5 million worldwide by 2020.