fuel economy by using windmill components might sound a little Quixotic, but here goes.Mazda is working on a new braking system called i-ELOOP. It captures energy from the vehicle’s inertia and produces an electric charge from the alternator just as the driver lets off the gas pedal. This energy is captured quickly in a Electric Double Layer Capacitor, which are commonly found in wind turbines. The system will debut on the 2014 Mazda6 and is part of the company’s Skyactiv fuel-economy boosting efforts.Under the most optimal conditions (i.e., when running every imaginable battery-draining component in the car), Mazda’s new system can boost fuel economy by as much as 10 percent. More typically, though, fuel economy will increase by about one mile per gallon.In 2011, the Japanese automaker said it was aiming to boost fleetwide fuel economy by about 30 percent over the next three years through its Skyactiv program. That effort starts down the fuel-saving path by using improvements in engine design, aerodynamics and weight-reducing parts. Later, bigger changes to the powertrain (i.e., plugs) go into effect. You can read about the general timeline here.
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