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The design and testing of a purely ultracapacitor energy storage system for the improvement of hybrid electric vehicles is presented. The system utilizes two large ultracapacitor banks for energy storage and a dc-dc boost converter that is capable of supplying 8 kW for voltage regulation. The system provides greater roundtrip efficiency over batteries, improves a vehicle's ability to recapture energy from regenerative braking, and is controlled and protected by a microcontroller. The paper presents design considerations, simulation, and hardware results of the system.