Baby steps. That's how BMW expects to improve the efficiency of its vehicles – not by revolutionizing the automobile or replacing the internal-combustion engine, but by improving it. The Bavarian automaker's Efficient Dynamics program includes a roster of fuel-saving technologies like regenerative braking and start-stop engine management, but the second generation of the initiative looks to the heavens for inspiration. Specifically, to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NASA's satellites are powered by thermo-electric generators (TEDs) which derive electricity from the heat generated by radioactive materials. BMW has no intention of putting plutonium in your car, but is working with NASA to adapt the TEDs to hook up to the car's exhaust system and provide some 200 watts of what would otherwise be (and until now has been) wasted energy. Capturing the heat to power auxiliary systems like climate control, BMW says the system could improve fuel economy by 5%. Not a revolutionary figure, but more than the contribution of both regenerative braking and start-stop combined.

[Source: CAR]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X