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Mazda Announces Capacitor-Based Regenerative Braking

The technology, called i-Eloop (intelligent energy loop), will show up in Mazda cars next year.

The braking system is special because it uses a capacitor that can store large volumes of electricity temporarily. Capacitors can be charged and discharged much faster than batteries and are resistant to storage deterioration over time, Mazda explained. Like other regenerative braking systems, i-Eloop converts a vehicle's kinetic energy into electricity when the car decelerates. The electricity is the reused to power electrical components in the car, including the climate control and the audio system.

According to Mazda, kinetic energy is converted into electricity at up to 25 volts. A DC/DC converter decreases the voltage to 12 volts before the electricity is made available to components in the vehicle. The benefit of the system is reduced fuel consumption as the car burns less fuel to power its electrical components. Mazda estimates that the overall fuel consumption can drop by as much as 10 percent.