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EV Power Generation, Beyond Regenerative Braking

Came across this interesting article on The Drive about a Mercedes system that produces electricity over rough roads. Made me think about what other energy could be harvested. Solar’s a bust - not enough surface area, but wind seems like it could make sense for drivers with a decently long commute on the highway. Now, of course, you’d be adding drag and therefore losing efficiency, but would the power you’d produce make up for the losses (and enough to make it worth it)?


In order to investigate energy-saving efficiency, a wind turbine of 400w was mounted to the front bumper of vehicle. In the experiment, there are two choices of charge types for vehicle. An electromagnetic clutch was designed for cutting charge system by wind turbine with a button in the car. Fuel consumption can be reduced using wind turbine. Generator is driven by engine pulley system when vehicle starts, it will be occupied about 30% fuel consumption by this type generally. The generator can be switched driven by wind turbine while the vehicle moves at a stable speed on road, fuel consumption can be reduced about 15% by the wind turbine. The charge type can be set to wind turbine system when car speed is higher than 50kilometers, and the higher, the more efficiency. While wind turbine system will self-stop when wind speed is too high at car speed more than 120 kilometers for safety. The road experiment results revealed that proposed vehicle wind turbine system saved about 15% fuel consumption when car speed is higher than 80 kilometers.

What other energy can we harvest?

I still want a “boost” button - KERS for my little hot hatch!

Illustration for article titled EV Power Generation, Beyond Regenerative Braking
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