Energy storage: batteries versus supercapacitors?

Supercapacitors may eclipse lithium ion batteries in the hybridization of transport and industry. Their energy density is improving. Potential CO2 savings could surpass 1bn tons per year. IRRs of 10-50% can be achieved, even prior to CO2 prices. This 20-page note presents are our conclusions after reviewing 2,000 Western patents, and identifies leading companies exposed to the theme.

What are super-capacitors? The underlying physics of super-capacitors and their energy economics are spelled out from first principles on pages 2-3.

The three technical advantages of super-capacitors over lithium ion batteries are argued on pages 4-8.

Commercial deployments of super-capacitors, including their energy savings, costs and economics are presented on pages 9-14.

Efforts are underway to improve energy density by tuning ionic electrolytes to better-controlled graphene pore distributions, as outlined on pages 15-17.

Over 20 companies geared to the theme, including “technology leaders”, are profiled based on revieweing 2,000 patents, on pages 18-20.

Downward revisions to our long-term oil demand forecasts, incorporating the impacts of supercapacitors, are presented on page 20.