Supercapacitors will be an enormous boon in the field of energy storage if the obstacles can be overcome, but there was some overblown hype in the piece presented.
Item: It is true that supercapacitors can accept energy at a prodigious rate, but delivering that power is far from trivial. Delivering a full charge to a 300-mile-range car in, say, 5 minutes, would require a cable heavier than many drivers could lift and attach. And providing that much energy will require a massive and enormously expensive charger. The Tesla super-chargers today can deliver about 240 miles of range to a Tesla Model S in about a half an hour. While supercapacitors could accept the power faster, delivering it will be difficult and is not a trivial matter.
Item: It was stated that with supercapacitors, an electric car could drive for 4 hours rather than only an hour and a half. My Tesla Roadster today can drive four hours at 55 mph with 20 miles of range to spare. The claim made on the show is for something that already exists.
Item: Lightning is not a capacitor. Lightning is the discharge of a capacitor. And it is a fearful thing, which leads to:
Item: A capacitor stores energy as an electrical potential between two conducting plates separated by a dielectric insulator. If that insulator is breached (which potentially could happen in an accident) the release of energy would be explosive. The entire energy content of the capacitor would be released in an instant. Supercapacitors by definition hold a LOT of energy. Any practical application will have to address the safety concerns by assuring that such a breach does nor happen, or if it does, the resultant explosion is contained.
The hype over supercapacitors is nothing new: A decade ago EEStor Corporation announced that it was just months away from marketing a supercapacitor, after having demonstrated that it could produce a dielectric material it claimed would be suitable for making supercapacitors. It never delivered on its promises. This new announcement is deja vu: They have a polymer, and they're already promising supercapacitors. Like EEStor, they have not demonstrated a capacitor, tested one for safety, or demonstrated the ability to scale up production, or produce them at an affordable price. They have a polymer which they claim will make everything possible.
I would love to see these supercapacitors become reality. I don't think there's any reason they cannot. But we are very far from solving all the real problems needed to make them a reality and this latest announcement is meaningless hype. At best it's the first tiny baby step.