Thursday, July 18, 2024
NewsFuture BMW EVs Could Use Road Imperfections to Charge Their Batteries.

Future BMW EVs Could Use Road Imperfections to Charge Their Batteries.

BMW EVs could use the energy absorbed by their suspensions to generate electricity.

  • This technology uses the movement of the suspension to spin a generator.

  • The flagship i7 could be the first model to use this system.

  • Other companies have worked on a similar project before.

Automakers are always trying to find ways to improve the efficiency of their electric vehicles and BMW might be getting ready to test a new technology that could help charge an EV while it is driving down the road.

In a German patent uncovered by CarBuzz, the automaker shows a system that uses the movement of the suspension over bumps and potholes to power a small generator that feeds electricity back into the batteries.

According to BMW, this technology works by incorporating a one-way clutch that allows the suspension to compress freely and power the generator when it is extending back to its normal position.

This is because when the car hits a bump, the suspension compresses very rapidly but it returns to normal more slowly. Since a slower release of energy is ideal to generate electricity, the generator is only engaged when the wheels move back down after a bump.

BMW suspension generator | Photo: German Patent Office

Similar systems have already been experimented with in the last few years but BMW’s technology seems to be a new take on the goal to use the energy that is normally dissipated by the springs and dampers.

The energy generated by the suspension generator is not likely to be sufficient to actually charge the traction battery while the car is driving, but it could help power accessories such as the lights, the infotainment system, and the climate control, which in turn could increase the range of the vehicle by reducing the draw on the high-voltage battery.

This means that this technology is likely to have a similar effect as regenerative braking, which is already being used by almost every electric car on the road.

Patented technologies don’t always make it to production and BMW hasn’t talked about this future technology before, but if the company does decide to fit it to its EVs, it is likely that the first one to benefit will be the flagship i7.

Source: CarBuzz


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