This month, Tesla bought supercapacitor company Maxwell for $218M. This followed speculation that the company was going to create hybrid batteries that would finally eliminate the long charging times that plague electric cars.

The advantage with supercapacitors over batteries is they can consume and discharge their energy near instantly, they don’t put out as much waste heat and, compared to batteries, they handle a relatively unlimited number of charge cycles without degrading. How does a 20-year lifecycle with an estimated drop in capacity of 10% after 10 years sound?

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