UCAP Power, Inc. CEO, Gordon Schenk, on Innovating Ultracapacitor-Based Solutions Across Renewable Markets

Gordon, tell us about UCAP Power, Inc.!

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 2019 acquisition by Tesla. In 2021 the founders raised capital to acquire the Maxwell Technology assets from Tesla, including manufacturing sites, IP, and branding. The combined UCAP Power + Maxwell Technologies group develop innovative, adaptable products for a range of applications that make it easier for our clients to choose superior power storage solutions.

What inspired your team to launch UCAP Power, Inc.?

i. The founders, while at Maxwell Technologies, were deeply involved in implementing the vision that energy storage is a key component to a renewable focused future. Ultracapacitor technology has been around for many years and UCAP Power is dedicated to promoting all the technologies’ benefits in support of our modern electrified world. As an example, per a 2021 Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) assessment of the UCAP Power wind retrofit solution, the anticipated greenhouse gas reduction for California is nearly 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and over 60,000 metric tons in the United States annually. The anticipated greenhouse gas reduction across the United States is nearly 335,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a five-year period. Per the report, retrofitting of all applicable CA wind turbines there is a nearly 20,000 MWh/yr of additional renewable wind energy put into the IOU. A ~$3.6M savings to CA at avg $0.18/kWhr. These are the types of benefits UCAP Power brings to the industry.


ii. There are several megatrends that UCAP Powers’ technology intersect with:

1. Renewables on the Grid

a. Records for adding renewable capacity to the grid are being broke on an annual basis.

b. Ultracapacitor are not only green themselves (made from coconut shells) but can provide rapid responses to fluctuations from renewable energy sources (Solar or Wind for example) make the system run more efficient and at a lower operating cost.

2. Vehicle Systems Electrification

a. Traditional systems (steering, braking, suspension, etc…) move to electric in EV’s. Nearly $10B allocated in H.R. 3684 for electrification of Busses and Ferries.

b. Ultracapacitors are great fit for vehicles with their small footprint and high-power capability, especially in applications where high cycling and extreme temperature resiliency is needed.

3. Battery Electric Revolution
a. Major auto manufacturers (GM, Ford, Stellantis for example) are targeting 40-50% EV sales by 2030 with analyst expecting $330B to be invested over the next 5 years.
b. Ultracapacitors are ideal for supplementing the main propulsion battery system for tasks that greatly reduce their overall lifetime, such as burst power and highly repeated operations.


iii. The Founders have worked together at multiple other companies, including local startups like RF Magic, Quorum, Entropic, so it was a natural step to form UCAP Power.

What has been the most rewarding part about building a startup and being an entrepreneur?

a. Excitement of starting something new and directly affecting the success.
b. Facing the challenges of starting a new company from the ground up.
c. Experiencing all the Firsts: passing first qual, getting your first 5, 6, 7, 8 digit PO, delivering against your first PO…
d. Bringing a diverse team together toward a common goal.

What are your hobbies when you’re not busy running a business?

The founders enjoy a good round of golf together on a regular basis! Additionally, I have been in a local cover band for years and enjoy doing the corporate and charity functions (pre-covid).


UCAP Power, Inc. website: https://ucappower.com/

Gordon Schenk’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gschenk/