April 14, 2003


Hybrid automobiles to make use of supercapacitors

London, England – Supercapacitors that offer storage capability millions of times greater than that of traditional capacitors will find a sizeable demand in the automotive sector reports Frost and Sullivan, a marketing consulting company. Market participants are pinning their hopes on the automotive industry, particularly the hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) segment to increase volume demand, consequently triggering significant price declines.

The total market generated revenues worth $2.85 million in 2002, based on
the sales of 57,656 units. Although a relatively small market today, it is
expected to show an impressive growth rate between 2002 and 2009. The market
is expected to grow substantially to the end of 2009, represented by a unit
compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 157 percent and a revenue CAGR of 49
percent. The automotive sector is expected to be the lynchpin.

While there will be sizeable demand from end-user sectors such as rail
(heavy rail vehicles, tramways and metro), renewable energy systems
(including wind power and solar applications), and uninterruptible power
supply systems (over 50 kilo volt-amperes), automotive applications are
projected to be the highest growth area for supercapacitors. In the long
term, almost 60 percent of the total sales of supercapacitors are likely to
originate from the automotive segment.

Demand is likely to come from truck companies, bus manufacturers – the
first vehicle segment to adopt supercapacitor technology – as well as
companies involved in the design and testing of 42V vehicles and HEVs.

Already, 12 car manufacturers in Europe alone are conducting research on
HEV vehicles. Tests on these prototype vehicles are spurring uptake of
supercapacitor samples while generating significant revenues for the
supercapacitor industry.

Identifying applications that will hold particular appeal for the
automotive sector, a new study by Frost & Sullivan, the international market
consultancy, notes that supercapacitor market growth is most likely to be
driven by automotive applications such as drive train applications
(regenerative braking, launch-assist, and start and go) and the powering of
the on-board electronic features.

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