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.
BMW has been working on thermoelectric power generators for the last few years, winninng an ÖkoGlobe award for their efforts in late 2008. Those prototypes may actually make it into production by 2014 as part of BMW's expanding Efficient Dynamics program. This according to BMW's head of development Klaus Draeger, speaking to Car Magazine in the U.K.
Volkswagen has supposedly created a device that generates electricity from the wasted heat created by an internal combustion engine. The device, known as a thermoelectric generator (TEG), relies on the reaction of two different metals as heat passes through, thereby generating electricity. According to VeeDub, its TEG can generate an impressive 600 Watts, which is about 30% of the electrical needs of a Golf Plus and enough to reduce fuel consumption by over 5%. Last year, BMW won awards with a s
BMW has won an ÖkoGlobe award for the second straight year. The award was presented to the Bavarian automaker for its work on a thermoelectric generator. Um, what's that? Basically, using a process known as the Seebeck effect, electricity can be generated by a difference in temperatures. All right, fine... who cares? Under the hood of every car ever sold that has an internal combustion engine, a huge amount of heat is generated while the engine creates power to drive the vehicle. In fact, o
Researchers are competing to meet a challenge from the U.S. Department of Energy: Improve fuel economy 10 percent by converting wasted exhaust heat into energy that can help power the vehicle. That's not a trivial improvement: 10 percent savings would amount to more than 100 million gallons of fuel per year in GM vehicles in the U.S. alone.