Estonia: Skeleton Technologies’ ultracapacitors to power Skoda trams in Germany

Skeleton Technologies, a company of Estonian origin that provides ultracapacitors and energy storage systems for transportation and grid applications, will supply ultracapacitor systems to traction equipment manufacturer Skoda Electric for 114 trams to be delivered to Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ludwigshafen in Germany.

“We have worked together with Skeleton Technologies to develop the most efficient energy storage solution for modern trams, keeping in mind the power restrictions for grid infrastructure in a number of cities around Europe,” said Stanislav Wizur, head of strategic purchasing at Skoda Electric.

Wizur said that the highest power density and efficiency in the industry provides Skoda Electric with a very clear competitive advantage.

“Projects like these show that we do not need to go to China or the United States for battery and ultracapacitor production. Skeleton has proven that energy storage manufacturing is alive and well in Europe, and European companies can work together to bring huge benefits to the European industry and market,” said Skeleton Technologies CEO Taavi Madiberk.

Madiberk said that during the course of 2019, Skeleton Technologies plans to make further public announcement for additional locomotive projects currently in the works.

The ultracapacitor system recuperates the braking energy of the trams and uses it for re-acceleration, saving energy and decreasing costs. Ultracapacitors are ideal for this application due to their high efficiency, reliability, and ability to recharge in seconds. The new system uses the most advanced ultracapacitor management software to further increase the lifetime of the modules.

Skeleton Technologies is a global leader in graphene-based ultracapacitors and energy-storage systems, delivering high power, high energy, reliable and long-life storage solutions across the industry. Since its foundation in 2009, Skeleton Technologies has raised over 51 million euros to support manufacturing scale-up in Germany and in Estonia and has grown its headcount to 115 people. According to the company, its ultracapacitors deliver twice the energy density and four times the power density offered by other manufacturers. Skeleton Technologies’ customer base ranges from leading Tier One automotive firms and industrial equipment OEMs to truck fleet operators and aerospace prime contractors.

Skoda Electric is a leading manufacturer of electric drives and traction motors for trolleybuses, tramways, locomotives, suburban train units, metro and mine cars.

The circle of owners of Skeleton Technologies Group through various companies include Margus Linnamae, Aivar Linnamae, Oliver Ahlberg and Taavi Madiberk. UP Invest, which has a holding in Skeleton Technologies Group, also owns the BNS news agency. Investors in Skeleton also include the listed Estonian electrical equipment maker Harju Elekter.

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