Honda Indycar goes into the fast lane with supercaps

Honda Indycar goes into the fast lane with supercaps

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Like in other racing formulas, also in the American Indycar series, the electric and hybrid drive has made its debut. In order to be at the forefront, Honda equips its CR-V Hybrid Racer with supercaps. The supplier is the Estonian supercap manufacturer Skeleton.

In order to provide the insane acceleration that makes a racing car a winner, the vehicles require an energy storage system that releases the stored energy quickly enough. Supercapacitors are an important candidate for this technology. Conceived by Honda Performance Development engineers and designed by the North America Auto Design Division, the CR-V Hybrid Racer is the first car in the NTT Indycar Series with an Indycar hybrid drive. The race car features supercapacitors from Skeleton and Empel MGU hybrid motor technology, which is said to enable it to save at least 60% greenhouse gas emissions by powering it with a racing fuel from Shell based on e-Fuels.

The car was first unveiled at the Indycar season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in March and will be seen at several Indycar events this year.

Skeleton’s supercapacitors provide the high power that gives the project car the nickname “The HPD Beast”. Skeleton believes supercapacitors are the best technology for reaching high speeds in seconds and then recovering it through braking energy. Supercapacitors’ low internal resistance, long life expectancy and resistance to ageing make them the best choice for hybrid race car powertrains.

Skeleton’s expertise can be found throughout the value chain – from cell, module and electronics design to the manufacture of energy storage systems – offering significant weight and space optimisation, which is critical in race cars. The result is smaller and lighter powertrain systems that are also more powerful and environmentally friendly.

“Our collaboration with Honda Performance Development is interesting not only from an application perspective, but also because HPD’s fast-paced, results-oriented approach is a perfect fit with Skeleton’s culture. The integration of our high-performance supercapacitor technology into the HPD CR-V Hybrid Racer clearly demonstrates what supercapacitors can do in terms of high output, and the joint work on the Indycar hybrid system further emphasises this. We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with HPD as a highly respected player in the motorsports industry,” said Sebastian Pohlmann, Vice President of Business Development at Skeleton.

The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer made its public debut March 3-5 at the NTT Indycar SERIES season opener at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.  The demonstration car will be on display at several Indycar events, including the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 14-16) and the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (September 8-10), which concludes the season. The Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer is a ‘rolling electrified laboratory’ that demonstrates the team’s expertise and potential in electrification, hybrid technology and e-fuels. It will create additional awareness for the new Honda Indycar hybrid powertrain, which will be introduced into the Indycar rulebook in 2024.

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