San Diego company to partner with Volvo

May 26, 2018 by  

Maxwell Technologies, a San Diego company, is teaming up with automotive giant Volvo, which plans to switch to manufacturing hybrids and electric vehicles (EV) exclusively in the near future.

Among its energy products is something Maxwell calls an “ultracapacitor”, a device that can provide short bursts of energy when required. The extra “boost” is needed for EVs and hybrids, which run on batteries, to operate smoothly.

Maxwell is also seeing an increasing use of ultracapacitors being used to store energy for batteries, and to power backup systems to assist drivers. The CEO of Maxwell, Franz Fink, said it is expected that the new partnership could generate over $100 million over the lifetime of the deal. Production is forecast to start late in 2019 and increase in 2020 and following years. The ultracapacitors will be used in five of Volvo’s hybrid models, starting in 2020.

Volvo is now owned by the Chinese automaker Geely, whose chief technology officer, Qingfeng Feng, said Maxwell’s ultracapacitors have proven they can support the hybrids and handle demands for peak power in a way batteries alone cannot supply. The partnership with Volvo may also give Maxwell a way to work into the auto market in China, which is booming.

Maxwell currently has about 450 employees worldwide, with 100 located in San Diego, where it is headquartered. Improvements like this might provide an opportunity for the company to consider a different graphic design that reflects the new partnership.