Analysis of the Regenerative Braking Efficiency of a Latest Electric Vehicle 2013-01-2872
Kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) placed on one axle coupled to a traditional thermal engine on the other axle is possibly the best solution presently available to dramatically improve the fuel economy while providing better performances within strict budget constraints. Different KERS may be built purely electric, purely mechanic, or hybrid mechanic/electric differing for round trip efficiency, packaging, weights, costs and requirement of further research and development. The paper presents an experimental analysis of the energy flow to and from the battery of a latest Nissan Leaf covering the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS). This analysis provides a state-of-the-art benchmark of the propulsion and regenerative braking efficiencies of electric vehicles with off-the-shelve technologies. While the propulsion efficiency approaches 90%, the round trip regenerative braking efficiency reaches the 70%, values previously achieved only with purely mechanical systems, few percentage points below the round trip efficiencies of todays' best mechanical system.