In the never ending search for ways to make vehicles more efficient, any component large or small can become the next big step in automotive technology. Such is the case with a new suspension system that uses the vertical motion of the vehicle to recapture energy.
The new suspension uses an electromagnetic linear generator that uses the compression and rebound of the shock absorber to move a set of magnets through a stator. The result is electricity, albeit a small amount, which can be stored in the vehicles battery or sent straight to where you need a little extra power.
The real bonus with this technology is if you drive a hybrid-electric or all electric vehicle. Just like regenerative braking systems can extend the overall range of an electric powered vehicle, so can a set of power producing shocks. What makes this technology even better is the ability to work hand-in-hand with a regenerative braking system for even more mileage per charge.
A transport company based in the US has licensed some of the technology and is planning to test the system and provide some feedback as to how well it works and how much of a gain there really is.
Left Lane News