Mazda plans to introduce i-ELOOP, which is a regenerative braking system that relies on a capacitor, in its vehicles next year. The result: an increase in fuel economy in conventional vehicles. Regenerative braking systems often are found in hybrid vehicles, but Mazda believes that i-ELOOP can give conventional vehicles up to 10 percent more fuel efficiency in stop-and-go traffic than is provided by vehicles that don’t use i-ELOOP.
Because capacitors can store built-up electricity, Mazda’s i-ELOOP system takes a load off a vehicle’s alternator. According to Jeremy Barnes, who is a spokesperson for Mazda, this capability reduces engine “drag” and increases fuel economy because the engine doesn’t have to work as hard as usual to run the alternator continuously.
The regenerative braking system is the latest addition to Mazda’s SkyActiv technology, which was created to improve vehicle efficiency without limiting performance.
Mazda hasn’t announced which vehicles will carry the new regenerative braking system, and Barnes wouldn’t speak specifically about how much the system will increase fuel efficiency overall in vehicles.
– K. Fanuko