Mazda ups fuel efficiency 10% using brake capacitors

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 01:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

TOKYO (Reuters): Mazda Motor Corp said on Friday it has developed a way to improve the fuel economy of passenger cars by as much as 10 per cent by using capacitors instead of batteries to capture energy lost during braking, which it said is a world first.

The Japanese automaker will introduce the system, which it calls “intelligent energy loop” or “i-ELOOP”, in its vehicles starting next year.

Mazda is working to boost the efficiency of gasoline and diesel engine vehicles without the use of expensive hybrid systems that require electric motors and a separate battery to store energy.

The new braking system would boost mileage by about five per cent under Japan’s official standards, but double that in real-world driving with frequent braking, when air-conditioning and other electronic devices such as audio systems are used, a spokesman said.

Mazda said its capacitor can be fully charged in seconds by capturing kinetic energy during braking, while it can also discharge electricity faster than batteries. Capacitors are also more resistant to deterioration through prolonged use, it said.

While Mazda has no hybrid system of its own, it is considered among the most advanced in weight reduction and internal combustion engine technology to raise fuel economy.