Elon Musk believes that supercapacitors will trump batteries. I read an article over the internet about that subject matter. I believe the eestor ultracapacitor will allow an electric car to charge in about 5 minutes and have a driving range between 250 miles and 500 miles.

Timo | June 18, 2011

EESTOR is a scam.

strine56 | June 18, 2011

Are supercapacitors a scam? Could Elon Musk be wrong?

David M. | June 18, 2011

Obviously, where we are today is not the end of battery technology improvements. I believe that in 10-15 years, we will see affordable batteries for cars extending the range to 500 miles, with a full recharge in less than 1 hour. Then, the only hybrid cars & ICE cars sold will be economy cars. Most cars over $35K will be plug-in electric vehicles.

When this happens, you'll see large drops in the price of gasoline, as big oil makes one last stand to (once again) try and kill off the electric car industry. If they were smart, they would lower the price of gas to $2 a gallon right now. Won't happen.

I can't wait until Tesla is producing 100,000 cars a year. Then, Nissan and Toyota will feel compelled to match that with their plug-in electric offerings. It's coming!

Timo | June 18, 2011

Supercapacitors are not a scam, but EESTOR is.

discoducky | June 18, 2011

EESTOR is overoptimistic at best and a scam at worst.

Knowing two EE's that went to work there and went dark I cannot tell you that they are inventing or producing tangible results but something or someone is keeping the money flowing.

Supercapacitors are promising but I doubt will see the light of the retail car market day in less than 10 years.

Timo | June 18, 2011

I don't think they will surpass batteries ever, batteries can have absolutely insane power densities with recent nanotechs (well beyond what cars need or charging equipment can supply), and for energy density only something far in future like nuclear reactions or supercondutive coils can surpass them. Lithium-air has theoretical energy density that surpass hydrocarbons.

strine56 | June 18, 2011

If you "Youtube" ultracapacitor and electric bus. You will find that there already is an electric bus that charges in about 5 minutes at a short range. It is only a matter of time before we have ultracapacitors allowing us to travel at a long range.

strine56 | June 18, 2011

I believe Toyota teamed up with Tesla in Fremont, California to build the Tesla sedan. I live with in a 20 minute drive of this new plant.

Timo | June 18, 2011

You can charge batteries in less than five minutes. That's no obstacle anymore, capacitors just got there first. Those capacitors used in bus are huge compared to batteries (like x100 bigger).

strine56 | June 18, 2011

I believe some the following companies are competitors of Eestor. There is Maxwell Technologies, GE,Ioxus, Ener G2 and Nanotune. Who will get there first?

Timo | June 19, 2011

EESTOR is scam. Other might not be, but those other do not do so incredible claims either. Check their product claims, you'll find that they have products with ~10Wh/L at best.

Like this ioxus product:

Wh/L 12.89, Wh/kg 8.16

There are prototype batteries with over 700Wh/kg and well over 1kWh/L.

EdSasha | June 19, 2011

Three times Timo has ventured on this thread that EEStor is a scam. Timo may be right but Timo doesn't explain *how* EEStor is a scam. EEStor is a private and very secretive company with zero public relations and therefore doesn't pump gullible retail investors like real scams. Doesn't even have a website. EEStor has missed its promised deadlines to introduce an EESU for several years now, and that's not a positive sign that it ever will, although continued action on the USPTO front and third party testing of components suggests there might be some life down the road. EEStor may fail. You could even argue that EEStor probably *will* fail. But how is it a scam? Who is being scammed and who are the beneficiaries?

strine56 | June 19, 2011

Timo you can not have it both ways. You first stated that Eestor is a scam. I then stated, could Elon Musk be wrong? Then you stated eestor is a scam and that you were not refering to supercapacitors. In my opinion you can not agree with the results of the other supercapacitor companies. Which supercapacitor company is showing the most promise? Do you have better information then the CEO of Space X and Tesla? Elon Musk stated that supercapacitors will trump batteries. Just "Google" supercapacitors and Tesla to get the correct information.

Timo | June 19, 2011

EESTOR is a scam. It just scams gullible companies, not gullible public. It pumps out money from them without producing anything, and has been doing so for years now. Someone is making easy life. Or case is that there is some "crazy scientist" behind it that believes even for himself that "some day" it will get done. Either way don't believe it, some of the more specific claims they have made are physical impossibilities, not attainable unless you include magic in the physics.

Other supercapacitor companies are not scams, but they also do not do miracle claims, they do what they do and are very open with it. Supercapacitors have their applications, just not as energy source for automobiles. Capacitors have very high power densities, even that hybrid capacitor I posted has power density over 3kW/kg, which is low for a capacitor, and they also have very high cycle life, so if you need something that requires high pulse energies and have to endure many many cycles you use capacitor, if you need high energy content and not so high cycle life you use batteries.

I know Elon stated what he stated, but I also strongly believe that he is wrong about that. Modern battery techs are so far ahead of capacitors of any kind that they highly probably never catch up. There are lab-batteries that rival capacitors even in power density with new nanotechs. I don't think supercapacitors even can catch up. Material requirements for pure supercapacitor that allows over 1kWh/kg energy content are so enormous that you could as well be talking about dark matter.

What can happen is hybridization of batteries and capacitors so that border between the two diminishes and you can't any more tell which is which, but even then energy content comes from battery-half of the hybrid, not the capacitor-half (that is where supercapacitors are going right now). If you don't need that high pulse energy then hybrid capacitor is not needed, and that is the case with automotive applications.

Charging in five minutes you said. Where? How? 75kWh (for 250mile range) in five minutes is 900kW power. 400V three phase would require nearly 4000 Amps. Robotics, very high voltages and superconductive cables maybe, but who needs those when you don't need to charge that fast anyway ever?

McMurphy | June 20, 2011

@edsasha, EESTor is a scam. EESTor does have a web site, The following is a screen capture from Bloomberg Businessweek:

For those not familiar with the EESCAM story, click on the following link which the pumpers of EESCAM would not want you to visit:
I would recommend reading the Air Force Research Lab emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and listen to the leaked conference call the lies coming out of Dick Wier's mouth about assembling units, being ahead of schedule in June 2009. EESCAM has not been able to demonstrate proof of basic concept of it's supercapacitor! It's easy to make bold claims when you don't have a product.

Vawlkus | June 20, 2011

This is not the first super capacitor thread. EESTOR was proven a scam in the older threads, and such does not need to be repeated again.

Timo has proven himself to be knowledgable in the past, you have not.

McMurphy | June 20, 2011

@Vawlkus, nothing to disagree with you. Please provide a link to the older threads proving EESTor is a scam for EdSasha.
Thank you in advance.

EdSasha | June 20, 2011

Wow! It seems that EEStor is a scam because everyone on this forum says it is. No further need to provide proof, majority opinion will suffice. There are a gazillion unsuccessful companies and EEStor may well turn out to be one of them and may even have already achieved that exalted status. But scam? Still waiting for proof.

Scammed companies? It can't be Lockheed Martin because, as we all know, it doesn't have skin in the game, just an old signed agreement that won't cost it anything if it doesn't work out. Kleiner Perkins then? A company with a penchant for taking gambles but one with eyes open wide enough that I doubt it's being "scammed", just using its pocket change to take a chance on a lottery ticket. ZENN, I'm guessing, is the "scammed" company in question, along with its shareholders. Note "company", not "companies", and a tiny one at that. I know, there's an even tinier one but it doesn't have ownership percentage so can be discounted. So, please try to avoid hyperbole when expressing an opinion - turning the singular into the plural doesn't make an argument any more convincing, it just demonstrates the need to make it more convincing. And be reminded that an opinion doesn't constitute "proof".

I thought that is an independent website - if anyone prove that it is actually EEStor's stealth website, please provide the link, the name, anything that proves your certitude. There is so much dissenting opinion expressed on that I kinda doubt that's the case but I'd be happy to be corrected. Again, an opinion is not proof, no matter with how much certainty it's expressed, or by how repetitively it's stated.

Timo | June 20, 2011

All it takes is one source of money to make successful scam.

Check that McMurphy linked website:

There are a lot more around in the web, just search. Make your own conclusions.

For the record I have seen some of the more specific claims they have made and they didn't make any scientific sense, they were there probably just to lure ignorant people to trust that they really are onto something (kind of mutually exclusive claim, separated both seem valid, but together it can't work. Can't remember specifics, it was several years ago). It's not an opinion, it's just a fact that they are misleading whoever they are trying to convince.

...can't seem to find that just now, I have thrown those away I guess.

EdSasha | June 20, 2011

"All it takes is one source of money to make successful scam."

Timo, my apologies, I thought you said "companies" in the plural. And, once again the above is an opinion. Just stating it again does not constitute proof.

The blog to which you provided a link is a... blog. Thanks, I'm familiar with it. More opinion. I'm as familiar with the EEStor story as anyone here. Nothing wrong with holding opinions, many of which are based on such facts as are known and are logical and well-considered. But they're still opinions.

Something I forgot to point out before. The so-called 'proof' that someone gave via a link that is EEStor's website was a Bloomberg Businessweek blog page in which someone entered the eeestory address as the 'official' EEStor website. Just someone entering inaccurate info on just another blog. Happens all the time. Reuters, for instance, announced that a company I was invested in had paid a dividend when it hadn't. The story stayed up on the website for four months despite several emails from me and others pointing out the error. And that was an official Reuters announcement.

Anyone want the REAL official EEstor website? Here it is, for what it's worth, which ain't much, I don't mind admitting:

A whois search will indicate that this domain name was registered by none other than Dick Weir. It was registered in October 2002 and will need to be renewed, if necessary, in October 2012. That's if he hasn't finished scamming everyone by that time.

That's it. I'm done. Good luck to all TESLA owners and investors.

blackscraper | June 20, 2011

Supercapacitor is not a scam, but I believe EEStor is.
But we have to bear in mind, given supercapacitors have 'comparable' energy density to eletron-chemical batteries, supercapacitors are far superior in all other means.
Supercapacitor has extremely high power density, it can output even MW power with very small size configuration. It has almost endless life cycles and does not deteriorate as time goes on (meaning its capacity does not erode as rechargeable batteries do). It can be charged very fast. it is not vulnerable to ambient temperature changes, most supercapacitors can work effortlessly from -30C to 80C no or minimum cooling/heating system while not affecting any of their performance nor their lifespan. As some post above worries about charging station, I personally would suggest using a big stationary set of supercapacitor to charge the ones in a car, that will definitely lower the strain on the power grid at a single time.

Those being said, a supercapacitor does not have to exceed or match a battery in energy density. There are two major facts
1. Batteries need systems to keep them in a narrow range of working temperatures, for supercapacitors, the system can be minimum or even does not have to exist, thus making the packaging smaller.
2. One of the most important things is, batteries lifespans will be reduced when overcharged or deep-discharged. For ex, Model S 300mile package, it has a battery package with nominal energy of >85KWH, but when it comes to real world driving, you can't just deplete the battery package or charge it to 100% full, leaving a significant amount of "storage space" unused ( I guess model s can only use, at most, 60KWH of this 90KWH package, this 60kwh should be called "usable amount" which is only 2/3 of the full capacity). But supercapacitor is a different story, you can install a 65 KWH package and use it until 5KWH remaining given the technology permits. This will lead to a MUCH smaller package as you would think.

But, the biggest problem lies there is the energy density, commercially available supercapacitors are having, at most, 6KWH/kg right now. It needs to be at least 60KWH/KG to be practical.

Timo | June 20, 2011

What kind of "proof" are you looking for? This is the net, you can't find anything that you couldn't dismiss as "opinion" unless you search yourself and believe some of the things you are reading. Like scientific articles. Start here:

I said companies, because they have contacts with several companies. How much money those companies give them is unknown to me, and I don't care enough to find out. But even if there were just one individual person, it would still be enough to constitute as a scam.

blackscraper | June 20, 2011

Oh, sorry, my problem, the numbers should be 6WH/kg instead of 6KWH/KG.

markp1950 | June 21, 2011

I have many concerns about batteries.
I don't like fast charging batteries. I've have had bad luck fast charging batters, although it was with NiCads, fast charging have seemed to cook the batteries and cook the life out of them. I don't to put batteries on a short charge, topping off a battery that still has power in it. I do believe in battery "memory". That could cut the range from 300 miles to 250 or something like it.
I do believe that a solid state supercapacitor would eliminate those concerns.
Even if supercapacitors have a shorter range. Fast charges would eliminate range concerns..

Timo | June 21, 2011

Lithium-ion batteries do not have battery memory effect. It is better to charge them before they are completely empty than let it drain completely. Also not charging it to full is healthy for them (that is why standard mode charging doesn't use full battery capacity).

"Fast charging" is limited by charging gear, not batteries. 240V 70A is actually quite slow charging, even that people call it fast charging. With supercapacitors you would need to stop for charge every 10 miles with similar size pack as Roadster 250mile pack. You don't want that. Difference is that big. Bicycle would be faster.

David70 | June 21, 2011

Timo and all.

I don't know if EESTOR is scamming, overly optimistic, or just delusional. But in any case, if they can't show a working prototype within a few years of their announcement, they certainly won't be able to come up with a mass produced product in the near future, especially at a price anyone can afford.

Even current supercapacitors are too expensive to be practical for use in EVs.

Timo has mentioned the fact that supercapacitors are to bulky to be practical. They're also too expensive (sure, maybe not if you figure in their life time, but who wants to make such a large initial investment?).,

I just did some calculations based on the Digi-Key online catalog. I found that the capacitors with the highest energy per $ and highest volumetric energy density were the 4000F capacitors rated at 2.5V.

Wow 4000F. It took me at least 10 years after I'd seen a 1F cap before I could stop using the prefix micro with it. Now we can get 4000F ones. In any case the energy that can be stored in one of these caps is 12,500 J. They cost nearly $220 in lots of 100.

The real advantage of the caps is in their quick charge and discharge. That isn't needed for normal charging, but could be useful for lossless regenerative braking. The kinetic energy for a 4000 lb (~1800 kg) vehicle traveling 60 mph (26.8 m/s) would be 653,000 J (0.653 MJ). That would require 52 such capacitors costing about $11,000. (Europeans forgive me, I'm using "," and "." in the American manner.) The volumetric energy density of these caps is about 26,300 J/L and the 52 caps would occupy about 25 L.

Note that 0.635 MJ is about 0.18 kWh. The miles this would take you (assuming 0.25 Wh/mi is about 0.72 miles. So to go 10 miles would require a cost of most than $150,000 invested in capacitors and a volume of 347 L (0.347 cubic meters). I don't know how these numbers compare to Timo's, but he could be legitimately using different data. Also I don't guarantee that I've found the lowest price, but whatever it is, it's still going to be expensive.

Now.... Apparently the big advantage of the EESTOR capacitors (if they can ever be made to work) is that they can work with much higher voltages (IIRC up to 5000V). If that's correct, the energy density could be over a million times as much. If that every happens remains to be seen.

Brian H | June 21, 2011

So by your numbers, each 100 miles range would require 3.47 cu. m. Say 10 cu. m. for a 300-mile range. Since the Model S has about 0.82 cu. m. cargo space, the caps would have to be mounted on the roof. Which would be very hard on the aerodynamics.

David70 | June 21, 2011

Yep Brian. Assuming I haven't made any errors. And a cubic meter is a lot of space. It can hold a metric ton (1000 kg, 2200 lb of people if squashed) of water.

Timo | June 21, 2011

So to go 10 miles would require a cost of most than $150,000 invested in capacitors and a volume of 347 L (0.347 cubic meters). I don't know how these numbers compare to Timo's, but he could be legitimately using different data.

That's pretty close to what I said. Roadster pack is about that size (a bit smaller actually) and I said you get 10miles with same size pack what is required for 250 miles with batteries. It's just approximation of real life supercapacitors and batteries, nothing exact there.

daniel1948 | June 22, 2011

I believe EEStor is a scam. I have no proof of that, but I've posted my reasons on other chat boards:

A few years ago EEStor announced that it had met an important milestone: It had demonstrated the purity of the material it intended to use as the dielectric for its EESUs. At the same time it announced that it would deliver EESUs to Zenn for the production of the Zenn City car in three or four months (I forget which).

The implication was that in 3 or 4 months they would go from a process for producing the dielectric, to demonstrating that this dielectric would work in a real capacitor, to producing prototypes for testing, to building a facility for mass production, to supplying EESUs in volume, all at a cost a fraction of present-day battery costs.

Such an accelerated schedule seems preposterous to me, and therefore I judged them at that time to be a scam. Since then (four years ago?) they have not demonstrated a single EESU nor supplied Zenn with a single unit.

I believe that ultracapacitors may one day be reality. EEStor scammed Zenn, leaving Zenn unable to continue building NEVs. (But maybe the advent of the Leaf had more to do with the demise of the Zenn car.)

And please keep in mind that the development of commercial ultracapacitors must include significant safety testing. A battery that ruptures may catch fire or (in the case of lead) spill acid. But a capacitor that is ruptured or has its dielectric breached will release its energy explosively. A 500-mile ultracapacitor pack that has its dielectric breached will have the explosive equivalent of an entire tank of gasoline being vaporized and then ignited. I believe the safety issues may well be resolved, or at least the risk reduced to an acceptable level (i.e. no more deaths than are caused by gasoline) but doing so is not a trivial task, and not one that is likely to be resolved in the time frame promised by EEStor. And indeed, EEStor was not able to do any of what it promised.

I believe EEStor is a scam, but I hold out hope for ultracapacitors at some time in the future. Maybe 20 years. In the mean time, batteries will be improved gradually, the cost per mile of range will come down slowly, and the weight of batteries will slowly diminish, allowing increased ranges. The Model S already promises 300 miles and the Roadster gets 245. I'd expect to see 500 miles in 5 years, making all-day trips possible and requiring chargers only where travelers spend the night.

blackscraper | June 22, 2011

I know once Tesla gave Toshiba SCiB battery a chance. The battery has long life (6000 cycles with less than 15% capacity loss), not cylinder shape, quick charge/discharge(somewhat comparable to supercapacitor) and you can discharge 85% of the capacity. But it has rather low energy density. Toshiba promised to introduce SCiB batteries with higher energy density. I'd think this is more promising though. Someone might question on how the infrastructure is going to handle the huge burden on the charging station. don't worry, take a look at the high speed rail road system in China. As I know, a single train will eat up 14400KW of power and you can see more than one train at the same time on this rail road system. So it should not be a problem for us.

Brian H | June 23, 2011

daniel, based on some of the MIT and Stanford results with comparitively easy nanotech mods to the cathodes, I'll see your 500 mile range within 5 years and double it. Actually, some of the tech they're playing with could result in a 10X increase in energy density, with "banding" of internal channels to reduce heating and resistance to charge/discharge to negligible levels.

Here's one early report:

daniel1948 | June 24, 2011

Brian: I hope you're right. But new technologies take time to develop, and reporters tend to be wildly optimistic when reporting on early theoretical developments. I'm optimistic about the technology, but skeptical about the promised time fame.

strine56 | June 25, 2011

Very entertaining video on eestor. Check out the link below.

David70 | June 25, 2011

Yes. Very entertaining. But it's an infomercial without any real information. Have investors actually been shown a working prototype?
Maybe they have and are just keeping quiet.

No bragging? What is he calling this video if not bragging.

If he can actually do it, great. But I'm not counting any chickens yet.

strine56 | June 26, 2011

The MisterEEstor "youtube" video clip has been deleted.

Dan5 | June 27, 2011

I tend to agree EEstor does not look good, it may be a scam, it may be someone with high hopes who's run into substantial issues with their technology, or the company may be a patent troll, banking on someone else to further develop the technology and then get licensing fees (either way 4 years and not even a prototype does not bode well in their favor).
Just for the number of delays the company had AND the fact that other capacitor companies say it's impossible AND EESTOR "lost" prototypes (to me it looks like they are either a scam or a patent troll), if I had a prototype I'd be showing it off left and right to get funding. Smart money says that in 5/10 years they'll be suing whoever comes up with a functional capacitor like that.

It's a shame that they brought Zenn motors down with them, but shorting ZNN stock will probably buy me my Model S.