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What Is Regenerative Braking?

Since hybrid gas and electric cars run on storage batteries, they must find a way to maximize energy. One of these energy efficiency devices is regenerative braking.

Regenerative breaking allows the car to recover some of the energy that it expended during breaking. This is different from the braking system used by traditional cars, which stop momentum by applying friction. Unfortunately, the friction releases heat energy, approximately 30% of the car’s generated power. The engine has to work harder to replace this heat, leading to a waste of fuel.

Hybrid electric cars employ the traditional braking system if they are running at highway speeds, it uses regenerative braking at slower, stop-and-go driving. Here, the motors reverse direction upon application of the brake, which counteracts the momentum. That’s because the magnetic fields and coiled wars are configured in a special way to act as an electric generator or dynamo. The energy that is produced is stored in a battery, which can later be tapped by the hybrid or electric car when it picks up speed once more.

In this way, regenerative energy “collects” the energy that is normally released and wasted by traditional brakes. While some energy is lost, it does somehow improve the overall energy efficiency of the vehicle.

This is just one of the ways that electric cars and hybrid cars save the environment. Aside from the fact that they don’t use fuel, innovative designs like the regenerative braking system enable them to maximize the energy stored in the battery.

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