There is plenty of kinetic energy flowing through and around an automobile when it’s driving down the road, but collecting and storing it for use has been a challenge. Volvo’s “flybrid” KERS (
The concept is based upon a flywheel that stores energy from the braking system. As a car brakes, the energy is pushed to a system that can then power the car itself. This flywheel, which spins at around 1,000 times per second, can potentially power the car half the time, leaving the combustion engine to remain dormant.
It has another benefit – more available power. Testing shows that the technology can improve 0-100 km/hr times by up to 1.5 seconds. This means even less fuel consumption to get up to speed or equal fuel consumption to get up to speed more quickly. Introduced in 2011, the system has been highly anticipated but disappointing in the way that few updates have come out since the project was launched. Now, we have our update.
“The flywheel’s stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods,” said Derek Crabb, Volvo’s Vice President Powertrain Engineering. “This has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that it will be possible to turn off the combustion engine about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle.”
It came with a video three years ago that got everyone excited, then they went radio silent. The video is below.
Despite the low level of information being circulated about the technology, consumers are asking about it. “We have one or two people per month ask if it’s coming out soon,” said Jennifer Pool, a representative at New Jersey Volvo.