Since regenerative braking systems were introduced in the 1990s, automakers have been working to improve efficiency and transfer more braking energy back into the vehicle. Now, Ford is claiming that their new regenerative brakes can recapture twice or three-times the kinetic energy of their competitors.
A normal braking system utilizes friction between the brake pads and brake rotors, and the friction turns the kinetic energy into heat. In comparison, regenerative brakes reverse the vehicle’s electric motor, and the energy that is produced goes back into the vehicle’s battery. In the past, these brakes could recapture about 30 to 50 percent of the kinetic energy, but Dave Crombez, a technical expert at Ford, claims that Ford’s latest regenerative brakes can recapture up to 95 percent of that energy.
If the brakes can live up to these claims, Ford drivers will see a huge improvement in their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Ford is predicting as much as 30 percent improvement, though once again it might not live up to those numbers in practice. When regenerative brakes are combined with lighter vehicle bodies, better engines, and other updates, however, they will create a much more fuel efficient vehicle together.
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