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Valeo And Maxwell Technologies Agree To Collaboratively Develop Ultracapacitor-Based Energy Storage System For Hybrid Autos


San Diego, CA — Maxwell Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL) announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Valeo, a leading Tier 1 supplier to automakers worldwide, covering a development collaboration to incorporate Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitors in Valeo’s next generation StARS+X – “stop-start” and regenerative braking system, which reduces automobile fuel consumption and emissions and powers additional electrical functions.

The new 14+X StARS (starter alternator reversible system) consists of a reversible starter-alternator, a multi-cell ultracapacitor energy storage module and other power and control electronics in a 14-volt architecture that enables standard gasoline and diesel engines to shut down during idle phases and restart instantly, eliminating fuel consumption and emissions anytime the vehicle is stopped. Valeo estimates that the system can reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions by about 12 percent in normal operation and more than 20 percent in stop-and-go urban traffic.

The first generation StARS with start-stop capability, which did not include a dedicated energy storage component, initially was offered in certain European passenger car models in 2004. The new 14+X architecture incorporates enhanced electronics and an ultracapacitor energy storage module that allows it to recuperate and store energy from braking, which otherwise would be dissipated as friction and heat in a conventional braking system. The recovered energy is then available to power peak electrical loads such as de-icing and rapid cabin and seat heating and cooling, avoiding increased fuel consumption for such functions.

“Because its energy storage employs high-efficiency, low-cost, ultracapacitor technology rather than costly nickel metal hydride or lithium-ion batteries, StARS 14+X can deliver 80 percent of the benefit of a mild hybrid system at 20 percent of the cost,” said Daniel Richard, Director, R&D Valeo Electrical Systems. “Tax incentives and free access to high occupancy vehicle lanes have helped to stimulate demand for current premium-priced hybrid cars as niche products, but we believe that mass adoption of low-emission vehicles and much greater benefits in reduced CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions will be driven by the availability of more cost-effective hybrid architectures.”

Richard also noted that the flexible 14+X system’s ability to be adapted for integration with a wide variety of existing motor platforms and to be applied to any new fuel technology such as flex fuel will make time-to-market for new models incorporating it much shorter than more radical hybrid approaches.

Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s president and chief executive officer, said that the MOU also covers terms of a proposed multi-year development and supply agreement through which Valeo will source ultracapacitors from Maxwell.

“This design win is the result of an extensive collaborative development effort, and it reflects the progress Maxwell has made in developing and manufacturing products that meet the very demanding performance requirements of the auto industry,” Balanson said. “We continue to work with automakers and other Tier 1 suppliers worldwide to enable new applications such as this one and achieve the broadest possible penetration of this large and strategically important market.”

About Valeo: Valeo is an independent industrial group dedicated to the design, production and sale of components, integrated systems and modules for cars and trucks. It is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers. The group has 131 production sites, 68 R&D centers, nine distribution platforms, and employs 71,100 people in 29 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit

About Maxwell: Maxwell Technologies is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Our BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell modules provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Our CONDIS® high-voltage grading and coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. Our radiation-mitigated microelectronic products include power modules, memory modules and single board computers that incorporate powerful commercial silicon for superior performance and high reliability in aerospace applications. For more information, please visit


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