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Nissan put the new Serena S-Hybrid on sale in Japan recently and now we're learning a bit more about how "smart" and "simple" the hybrid powertrain is. Nissan proudly emphasized those aspects of the powertrain when it first talked about the details of the new minivan, and now we learn that the electric part of the powertrain is used mostly to ... power the tail lights?

Ah, fire. One of humanity's oldest ways to generate energy. Technically, you could generate energy by burning brake pads, as seen in the picture above (thanks, Flickr!), but automotive engineers have managed to come up with a way to use brakes to generate energy without going up in flames. The technology is called regenerative braking and it's the subject of this week's Greenlings.

Tesla Motors has just updated their blog, this time with a post from Greg Solberg, who is Tesla Motors Firmware Engineer. The post is all about regenerative braking. Just like most of the other posts at the Tesla Motors blog, this one is quite informative and offers us all a glimpse into just what it takes to get a vehicle from the drawing board to customer hands on the road.