British scientists are harnessing wave power technology to build cars that use half the fuel of a normal city vehicle. Can stretched fuel wasters like this be a thing of the past?
They converted a BMW saloon, but it could just as easily have been a MINI - and perhaps will be soon – with equipment to capture all of that wonderful energy we normally waste when we hit the brakes. The team from Artemis Intelligent Power lived up to its name by harnessing this power with equipment they say is much less expensive than the costly (and still largely inefficient) batteries used in existing hybrid vehicles. And as an added benefit, carbon emissions measured 30% less in combined city/highway driving.
The system, called Digital Displacement, was originally developed to convert the irregular movements of waves into a steady stream of energy. A hydraulic drive allows energy usually wasted during braking to be stored and used again when the car needs to accelerate.
The car runs on a mixture of stored energy and gasoline, with computer control technology used to switch between the two power sources.
Project leader Dr. Wim Rampen [sic] said the technology represented a serious step forward in achieving cost-effective fuel economy.
"The system will be much less expensive than electric hybrids and will help to make hybrid vehicles an economic, rather than a lifestyle choice," he said.
Now how cool would that be… saving green while driving green? We’ll wait and see what the vehicle performs like before offering up any green of our own.
SIGN UP for the Latest Deals on MINI Parts & MINI News!
Please wait while we calculate your shipping cost.....