ZF friedrichshafen AG, the same company that supplies ferrari dampers for their formula one race car has partnered with levant power corporation to build the world’s first regenerative shock absorber system with energy recovery functions.
The “GenShock” takes on a ground breaking approach to energy recovery through the use of an active damper. The technology is contained in a device mounted to the outside of each shock that regulates the flow of oil through the shock absorber. The device houses its own control unit, an electric motor and an electro-hydraulic gear pump, and controls the flow of fluid in the shocks to adjust the damping rate. The process is reversed when the shock is regenerating energy.
With the weight of the Tesla Model S exceeding 4600+ lb, there’s potential to convert enough kinetic energy, as the vehicle experiences lateral forces through cornering, during acceleration and while braking. The movement of the piston within the shock absorber pushes fluid past the GenShock’s electro-hydraulic gear pump, which drives the electric motor and converts the kinetic energy into electricity that is ultimately fed back into the power supply.
Naturally the regenerative characteristics is most realized when traveling through poor-quality roads, however we’ll have to take a rain check on the off-road excursions with our hypothetical GenShock equipped Model S.
Does this technology have legs for the consumer EV market?
We’d love to hear what you think. @Teslarati