For the past several years the governing body of Formula One racing has been pondering rule changes that would, among other things, make the sport more environmentally friendly. One of the proposals that has popped up several times is using hybrid drivetrains. Transmission builders Torotrak and Xtrac have agreed to a license agreement that will let Xtrac build continuously variable transmissions based on Torotraks design for Formula One hybrid drive systems.

Unlike the hybrid electric drive systems used in production cars, kinetic energy captured by the regenerative braking system wouldn't be stored in electro-chemical batteries. The proposed Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) would store energy in a mechanical flywheel system. The flywheel system would be lighter and able to capture more energy quickly making it better suited to the repeated deceleration rates of a race car.

[Source: Torotrak]


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