Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

regenerative energy systems

The Model S in the California sun outside Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters (Photo: Angus Mac...

Having been available for just over a year now, Tesla’s Model S has received its fair share of acclaim, and its fair share of criticism. So what’s it like to drive this 416 hp all-electric, and how does it compare to other premium sedans? Gizmag went to Palo Alto to find out first hand.  Read More

Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to...

Earlier this year Volkswagen announced production of its 261 mpg hyper-efficient XL1, but with an estimated $145,000 price tag it’s unlikely the hybrid will become a common fixture on most streets. The company’s Twin Up! hybrid concept, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, could however become a more reasonable option for the masses.  Read More

An Electric Defender is the subject of an ongoing Land Rover research program known as the...

Earlier this year, Land Rover announced it would be electrifying a Defender. Although the hefty British 4x4 may not seem like the most logical candidate for an electric makeover, the first Electric Defender began its real world tests this past month at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England.  Read More

The Thrustcycle SRT is a three-wheeled vehicle that incorporates a gyro/flywheel system to...

Fans of three-wheeled cars will tell you that the vehicles come in two configurations: delta, with the single wheel in the front, and tadpole, with the single wheel in the back. Well, now there's another type. The prototype Thrustcycle SRT has all three of its wheels in a straight lateral line, and utilizes a mechanical gyroscopic stabilizing system to keep it firmly upright even when standing still. That same system also stores kinetic energy generated by braking, extending the vehicle's range.  Read More

Maxwell von Stein's Flywheel Bicycle stores the power that would otherwise be wasted in th...

In order to help boost their range, many electric and hybrid cars employ regenerative technology where braking energy is stored in the battery instead of simply being wasted. This idea can also be applied to electric-assist bikes, but what about bicycles of the plain old human-powered variety? Isn't it a shame that after having built up some good momentum, you just have to write it all off once you stop? Maxwell von Stein, a student at New York City's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, thought so. As his senior project, he recently rigged up a flywheel to an existing bicycle, in order to harness the energy that's lost during braking. That energy can then be used to boost the bike when needed.  Read More

Cyclone Power Technologies - Waste Heat Engine

Technology capable of generating electricity by extracting energy from heat that is otherwise just wasted is a fairly new branch of renewable technology. A typical co-generation plant uses waste heat from a gas or steam turbine for hot water or space heating. This Waste Heat Engine (WHE) developed by Cyclone Power Technologies operates at temperatures as low as 225F (107 C). The engine can generate up to 10kw from heat sources such as industrial ovens or furnaces, concentrating solar thermal collectors, engine exhaust and biomass combustion.  Read More

Hydraulic Regenerative shock (Photo: Zack Anderson via MIT)

We reported recently on several new methods of regeneration for hybrid vehicles. These included regenerative shocks based on electric motors and a hydraulic drive train. Now students at MIT have developed a regenerative shock absorber that is a cross between those two. Fitted to a heavy truck, each shock absorber could generate up to an average of 1 Kw on a standard road, completely displacing the large alternator load and even running accessory devices such as hybrid trailer refrigeration units.  Read More

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