Most of you have probably heard of regenerative braking – how energy lost during deceleration is converted into electricity. What you may not have heard of is the regenerative technology being developed by Levant Power Corporation. Instead of focusing on the horizontal movement, they looked into the energy from a vehicle’s vertical movement, specifically reclaiming the energy lost in shock absorption.
Whenever you pass over a speed bump, pothole, or any other uneven surface, the shock absorbers take some of that force and dissipate it as heat. Levant wanted to capture that lost force, and transform it into usable energy. They developed the GenShock technology, which works by pushing fluid through a specialized piston to generate electricity.
The website also claims it results in less maintenance and longer life for the shock absorbers, due to less heat dissipating inside the shocks. While exactly how much fuel efficiency increases is not firmly established (anywhere from 1 to 12 percent), harvesting technologies such as these could, in the future, spell big gains for electric and hybrid efficiency.