Mazda joins the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show this year with its new mid-size sedan prototype TAKERI. The neat thing about the TAKERI is that – although it is a standard fossil-fuel-burning vehicle – it incorporates a regenerative braking system.
According to Mazda, their tests indicated an effect of about 10% on fuel consumption. The company claims the tests simulate actual driving habits and patterns and are not optimized for better lab results.
The system installed in the TAKERI includes variable voltage regulation for the alternator and a supercapacitor. When the foot is taken off the gas pedal, the power produced by the alternator is sent to the supercapacitor. Instead of electricity being sent to the fuel pump, it can be used to power other electrical devices in the car. An idling stop mechanism (the i-stop) has also been included, which also helps reduce fuel consumption.
Mazda seems to be trying to ninja EV technology into their cars, one step at a time. They’ve even got a name for the process – the “Building Block Strategy,” and inclusion of the regenerative braking system is Step 2 (if anyone knows what Step 1 was, feel free to chime in).