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Volvo Still Testing Flywheel Energy Capture, Fuel Savings Of 25 Percent

When hybrid cars first appeared at the end of the 1990s they introduced a new concept to drivers: energy recovery under deceleration and braking.

By recuperating a moving car’s kinetic energy as it slows down and storing it as electrical energy, it can then be used to help the car speed up again, reducing fuel use.

But is there a better way of storing that energy? Volvo’s flywheel-based Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS, is one alternative to storing energy in a battery.

The Swedish marque has been testing kinetic systems for a few years now, and according to Autocar, says the technology could improve the fuel efficiency of a regular vehicle by 25 percent.

Not only that, it does away with the need for heavy batteries, and can store energy three times quicker than more conventional recuperation systems like you might find on a Toyota Prius.

While it can’t store as much energy as the battery in a conventional hybrid, the speed at which it “recharges” means total energy storage isn’t as important.


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