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Mazda advances regenerative braking

Improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent


November 28, 2011
by Fleet Management staff

HIROSHIMA, Japan: Mazda Motor Corporation has developed the world’s first passenger vehicle regenerative braking system that uses a capacitor. The system, which Mazda calls ‘i-ELOOP’, will begin to appear in Mazda’s vehicles in 2012.

In real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, ‘i-ELOOP’ improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent.

Mazda’s regenerative braking system is unique because it uses a capacitor, which is an electrical component that temporarily stores large volumes of  electricity. Compared to batteries, capacitors can be charged and discharged rapidly and are resistant to deterioration through prolonged use. ‘i ELOOP’ efficiently converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates, and uses the electricity to power the climate control, audio system and numerous other electrical components.

Regenerative braking systems are growing in popularity as a fuel saving technology. They use an electric motor or alternator to generate electricity as the vehicle decelerates, thereby recovering a portion of the vehicle’s kinetic energy. Regenerative braking systems in hybrid vehicles generally use a large electric motor and dedicated battery.

Mazda examined automobile accelerating and decelerating mechanisms, and developed a highly efficient regenerative braking system that rapidly recovers a large amount of electricity every time the vehicle decelerates.
Unlike hybrids, Mazda’s system also obviates the need for a dedicated electric motor and battery.

The name ’i-ELOOP’ is an adaptation of “Intelligent Energy Loop” and also works in conjunction with Mazda’s unique ‘i-stop’ idling stop technology to extend the period that the engine can be shut off.