Battery Tech News

Tesla sells Maxwell Technologies since it does not plan to use ultracapacitor technology


Elon Musk says it’s ironic that Tesla had to sell Maxwell Technologies, Inc. which the Silicon Valley-based automaker acquired in 2019. Tesla bought Korea-based Maxwell Technologies to take advantage of its research and development in super and ultracapacitors that would help advance the battery tech.

But according to a recent tweet by Elon Musk, Tesla has learned what it needed to out of the Maxwell acquisition within the past two years. Musk says that the battery tech using lithium ion alone is enough to transition the world to sustainable energy even without any significant advancement in current technology.

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Musk further explains that the secret ingredient to lowering cost of lithium-ion batteries is “dry electrode”. It is one of the many pieces of the puzzle in the cost reduction of li-ion batteries, several of which he explained during the Battery Day presentation and further explained by Sandy Munro in one of his videos.

Tesla has taken the dry electrode technology blueprint from Maxwell and has further invested in its development heavily, “it has required an *immense* amount of engineering to take Maxwell’s proof-of-concept to high-quality, volume production & we’re still not quite done,” Musk stated on Twitter.


Tesla, Inc. has sold Maxwell Technologies to UCAP Power, Inc. a San Diego-based company that aims to bring the ultracapacitor technology to the commercial mainstream. UCAP Power announced this acquisition in a press release on July 14th.

UCAP Power’s company page description on LinkedIn reads as follows:

UCAP Power, Inc. brings commercially available Ultracapacitor technology into the mainstream. The founders, proven leaders formerly from Maxwell Technologies’ leadership and product management teams, formed UCAP Power after Maxwell’s recent acquisition by Tesla. UCAP Power develops innovative, adaptable products for a range of applications that make it easier for our clients to choose superior power storage solutions. Markets include “retrofit” replacement strategies for lead-acid battery technology in wind energy and generator reserve power.

Source: UCAP Power on LinkedIn

According to my research, at least 3 of the core team members including the CEO of UCAP Power previously worked at Tesla.

UCAP Power CEO Gordon Schenk left Tesla, Inc. in June 2019 as Vice President of Sales, Americas, Australia & New Zealand (for Maxwell division).

General Manager & Vice President at UCAP Power Troy Brandon previously worked at Tesla as Sr. Product Line Manager who also left the automaker in June 2019.

Jesse Rivero, a Sr. Mechanical Engineer at UCAP Power also worked at Tesla as a Mechanical Engineer and left the company in August 2019.

Troy Brandon and Jess Rivero both were Maxwell Technogies employees before transitioning to Tesla.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

One reply on “Tesla sells Maxwell Technologies since it does not plan to use ultracapacitor technology”

Not surprising. Ultra capacitors have high power density and great round trip efficiency, but low energy density. They make more sense in hybrid (including fuel cells) applications where the power is needed – Tesla’s massive battery packs already produce more than enough power.

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