German suspension and transmission specialist ZF has unveiled a new suspension system that can convert kinetic energy into electricity.
Dubbed 'GenShock', the system was developed with Levant, the American company that pioneered the innovative new technology.
ZF says the system is destined for production in the near future, where it will join the growing number of energy-recuperating systems available to carmakers.
Many new models already feature brake energy recuperation (or regeneration), which sees otherwise wasted energy stored in a battery for later use.
ZF and Levant's GenShock system sees the suspension setup's four conventional dampers replaced with a centry hydraulic system, offering the advantages of an active system - which usually consumes energy - while also reclaiming energy to be stored.
"Ride and handling are at the core of the driving experience. With GenShock technology, ZF and Levant will reinvent that experience," Levant Power's Shakeel Avadhany said.
The new technology is housed in a device mounted to the outside of each shock, featuring a control unit, electric motor and electrohydraulic gear pump.
The system sees the electric motor drawing kinetic energy as pistons in the damper are pushed up over uneven surfaces, forcing oil past the electrohydraulic gear pump.
Sensors feed data to a central computer which operates the movement of each individual corner of the car.
Adaptable to range of tasks, the GenShock technology is being developed for use in cars, trucks, military and off-road vehicles.
In simple terms, the more uneven the surface, the more that energy can be reclaimed. In that sense, ZF's new system could be best suited to vehicles regularly traversing rough terrain.
ZF highlights the system's potential to further reduce a car's CO2 emissions, playing an important role in the development of future hybrid and electric vehicles.
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