Alcoa, Maxwell developing ‘cold start’ system

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Alcoa’s automotive division will collaborate with Maxwell Technologies to create new “cold start” systems for commercial trucks. Alcoa says A-F-L Automotive will work with the ultracapacitor company to make “an onboard jump-start capability.” A-F-L Automotive says a system will be ready for testing by the first quarter of 2007.

Alcoa says the feature will become increasingly important as more states prohibit trucks from running their engines overnight; such restrictions mean that truckers who are resting will run down their truck batteries when they use heating, cooling and entertainment systems with the engine off. Trucking companies already incur considerable costs to jump-start stranded trucks, Alcoa says.