So Audi is taking an approach similar what Ford and Mazda are planning by using regenerative braking to power things around the car other than a hybrid/electric motor.
I wouldn't be surprised to see more companies looking to replace the standard 12v 40lb lead acid battery with something more suited to work with regenerative braking (like 48v Li-Ion).
One thing I'm not sure of though, aren't regenerative braking systems in hybrids just using the motor itself to recoup energy in braking? If so the only thing preventing the motor from also helping to power the car is essentially just a larger battery right? Is there anything else that separates non-hybrid regenerative braking systems from the ones in hybrids or are the costs to build it about the same?
Michael Wilson
and this is precisely why i love Audi. They seem to be one of the few makers on the market developing cars that are fuel efficient, fun to drive, and actually look like something the average person would *want* to buy.
I cannot wait until this hits the market!
brings back memories of the e-turbo you could buy for 99 bux lol.
i like Audi too...but the cash for it? In my neck of the woods Audi means you have cash and no brains... (Toronto..Yonge/Finch...you know the deal). R8's with automatic shifters where the drivers bounce the car up and down the street anyway with absolutely no clue what they are doing.
had a few Audis (6).... i'll stick to vw diesel and let the others spend spend.
Jon Smith
I want!
TC Cramer
I would say that this is more like what was done in the new F1 engines.
Fill Fill
I think TC Cramer is right on the money, this is like the motor/generator system that F1 uses on their turbos this year. It eliminates turbo lag and also can generate electricity instead of using the traditional waste gate. This is a completely separate system from regenerative braking, btw, those are generators/motors connected to the wheels (which is also used in F1).
There's a lot of interesting side effects and benefits that can be gained purely through software. For example, if the batteries are low, the engine can burn a little more fuel to generate more electricity by some slight dragging of the generators, and vice-versa, without the driver noticing any change.
There's also some old designs being resurrected to remove a lot of the moving parts in these hybrids, like making the pistons be magnets and the cylinder containing a generative coil, eliminating all the rotational components.
Expanded Viewpoint
If they were smart, they'd couple a big honkin' electric motor to the turbine shaft via a centrifugal clutch from a go-kart, or use a sprag type clutch from a transmission or starter drive, and then they'd have their cake and be able to eat it too!! A switch at the bottom of the travel of the loud pedal (WOT) would energize a relay when full, quick boost is wanted, and then when you back out of it, the turbo is in normal operation mode again. What's not to like here? Or, behind door number two, have a cylinder charged up with air that dumps its contents into the turbine side when it's needed at WOT. That will spin the turbine up quickly and not lean out the mixture. A small air compressor run off the drive line could keep the cylinder charged up with a couple of hundred PSI for use when you get down to business.
Isn't this e-turbo thing just a supercharger that gets switched on and off? Can someone 'splain the difference?
(I'll admit I'm not a true-mechanic type gearhead - I love cars, love to drive them, but not so handy at taking apart an engine to do a valve job. In 12th grade I replaced brakes in Auto-tech class, and I've replaced a radiator and alternator on my own!)
Bruce H. Anderson
I hope this trickles down soon. While small cars are fun to drive, the lack of grunt at low RPM can be scary, especially when pulling into traffic. So if this helps, and can feather in and out depending on need at other speeds and paired with proper fuel control, it might be a real boon to efficiency.
I say use a smaller battery pack and but a generator on an exhaust gas turbine.