Ford Motor Company and Samsung SDI (a division of the Samsung Group) have announced plans to jointly research hybrid technology that one day could be manufactured in high volumes for use on non-hybrid vehicles in order to — yupp, you guessed it! — realize greater fuel savings.
The new research project is the result of a previous 10-year research effort that resulted in the discovery of a dual-battery system, which combines a lithium-ion battery with a 12-volt lead-acid battery. The combination could enable regenerative braking technology in non-hybrid vehicles for higher fuel economy.
“We are currently expanding our Auto Start-Stop technology across 70 percent of our lineup, and this dual-battery system has the potential to bring even more levels of hybridization to our vehicles for greater energy savings across the board,” said Ted Miller, senior manager, Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ford Motor Company. “Although still in research, this type of battery could provide a near-term solution for greater reduction of carbon dioxide.”
Regenerative braking is currently available on Ford’s full-hybrid vehicles. The technology allows the battery to capture for reuse the majority (up to 95 percent) of the electrical energy usually lost during the braking process. The system works in conjunction with Ford’s Auto Start-Stop system, which seamlessly turns off the engine when a vehicle comes to a stop, in an effort to save fuel. When a vehicle is stopped and the engine is shut off, an advanced battery powers vehicle accessories and systems in place of the engine. This takes place until the driver begins to release the brake pedal, which restarts the engine.