Maxwell expands ultracapacitor start modules to Class 3-6

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Pana-Pacific1Maxwell Technologies expanded its ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM) product line, unveiling a solution appropriate for Class 3-6 trucks at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis earlier this month. The addition shows the same benefits Maxwell has provided to Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks. Maxwell’s ultracapacitors are house in a Group 31-size casing and wired directly to the starter, assuming all starting responsibility for the truck, effectively eliminating cranking problems that come from weak or discharged batteries. 

The new Class 3-6 unit produces 900 cold cranking amperes (CCA), starting power for diesel engines up to 9.9 liters at temperatures -40 to 149 degrees Fahreheit. The Class 7-8 solution is rated similar for temperature, and company Senior Product Manager Jeff Brakley reports several Canada-based owner-operators have come by the Maxwell booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show to express thanks for the technology during this year’s extreme winter. 

Ultracapacitor technology allows for quick charging — Maxwell’s starting units can be resupplied in a very short time — 15 minutes or so — after which electronic controls inside the unit then redirect charge to the batteries, all told taking stress off of the truck’s batteries and extending life. 

The units are distributed through PanaPacific to many OEM dealers and other shops, and Maxwell continues to work with truck OEMs on making it available as an option in new trucks. In the aftermarket, the Class 7-8 ESM has an MSRP of $1,150, $950 for the Class 3-6 solution, though Brakley has seen prices as low as $800 and as high as $2,000 — “it pays to shop around,” he said.

Attendant to MATS, small independent distributor (877-378-2267) is running a special on the Class 7-8 solution at $920 for orders placed before March 31, $990 before April 15. Shipping will include instructions on installation, fairly simple, says Brakley, for anyone with some knowledge of truck technology. Refer to the Maxwell website for further details. â€“Jason Cannon contributed to this report.