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KERS

Hybrids may be the future, says Ferrari CEO

Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa appears to have suggested that hybrid technology is ready for commercial rollout. But he hasn't stopped there, hinting at a future in which both hybrid Ferraris and six-cylinder Ferraris may be the rule.Read More

Automotive

Volkswagen unveils E-Bugster electric Beetle concept in Detroit

Volkswagen will this week unveil its two-seater E-Bugster concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There are no prizes, I'm afraid, for deducing from the entomological etymology that this is an all-electric variant of the classic VW Beetle. Kudos, though, if you identified that the name betrays the E-Bugster's shared DNA with the Ragster, VW's 2005 concept which itself informed the conventional Beetle of today. But enough on the name, let's take a look at the specs.Read More

Motorcycles

Lit Motors' C-1 electric motorcycle will stand up for itself

As any avid biker will tell you, motorcycles have a lot of advantages over cars - they use less fuel, accelerate faster, are more maneuverable, can be parked in more places, and don't incorporate the weight of extra seating for passengers who are non-existent on solo commutes. As many other people will tell you, however, motorcycles also leave their occupants open to the rain and cold, and can potentially tip over and scatter those occupants across the road. That's where Lit Motors' C-1 comes into the picture. It's a proposed fully-enclosed two-passenger electric motorbike that uses an electronically-controlled gyroscopic stabilizing system to stay upright when stopped, or even when struck from the side in an accident.Read More

Automotive

Thrustcycle demos new version of its self-balancing SRT

Back in August, we heard about a self-balancing prototype vehicle known as the Thrustcycle SRT. Utilizing a flywheel-based gyroscopic stabilizing system, the electric vehicle was able to remain upright on its three inline wheels, even when standing still. The flywheel also served as a kinetic energy recovery system, helping to extend the vehicle’s range by storing energy that would otherwise be lost when braking. Now, four months later, Thrustcycle Enterprises has contacted us with information about the latest version of the EV, and provided some video of it being driven around ... and getting the crap kicked out of it.Read More

Automotive

Mazda announces world first capacitor-based regenerative braking system

While Toyota took out the Tokachi 24-Hour Race in 2007 with a Supra HV-R hybrid race car featuring a quick-charging supercapacitor-based regenerative braking system, battery storage has so far been the norm for these systems in production vehicles. Now Mazda is charging things up with its new "i-ELOOP" system intended for internal combustion engine-powered vehicles. The i-ELOOP is billed as the world's first passenger vehicle regenerative braking system that uses a capacitor in place of rechargeable batteries to temporarily store energy captured from braking.Read More

Automotive

Flybus to start testing flywheel hybrid bus

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles tend to be pricier than their conventional counterparts, and many people still worry about the limited range of all-electrics. If you want to move away from purely petrol-powered vehicles, though, is there any alternative? The four-company Flybus consortium would definitely say there is. It recently rigged up a bus with a prototype flywheel-based energy recover system, that stores the energy that would be wasted when the vehicle brakes, then returns that energy to the drivetrain when the bus accelerates. The researchers claim that it could deliver hybrid-like fuel economy, at a fraction of the price.Read More

Automotive

FIA 2014 Formula One regulations published - with surprises

The FIA (Fédération International de l'Automobile) published its revised technical regulations for 2014 Formula One season last week. Having caused uproar amongst the engine manufacturers and F1 fans with a proposal for replacing the naturally aspirated V8s of today with turbo-charged 4-cylinder engines, an agreement was finally reached amongst the various interested parties to introduce turbo-charged V6s of 1.6 liter displacement. The continuing effort by the the FIA to "green" the sport and push development still provided a number of surprises in the published regulations, however.Read More

Automotive

Volvo touts mechanical KERS for future road cars (but fails to mention partners Flybrid & Torotrak)

Volvo indulged in some odd behaviour overnight when it made a curious omission from a publicity release promoting the Kinetic Energy Recovery System development for which it has just received a US$1,000,000 grant from the Swedish Energy Agency. It named its partners in the project being Volvo Powertrain and SKF, but somehow managed to leave out the fact that the core technologies described in the press release and portrayed in the diagrams it released alongside the press release were Torotrak's variable drive technology and Flybrid Systems (UK) flywheel KERS technology originally developed for Honda F1 and set to debut in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race next week. Torotrak immediately issued its own press release setting the record straight, but it's hard to see any motive for Volvo's omission other than to mislead the public as to its progress and expertise in the field. Read More

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