A group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) undergraduate students have developed a regenerative shock absorber it said improves hybrid-electric vehicle fuel efficiency up to 10%, according to Ward’s Auto.
The MIT students said the shock absorber converts energy from road bumps into electricity while smoothing the vehicle’s ride more effectively than conventional shocks. If the electronics were to fail, the shocks still would function as conventional shock absorbers.
The students said their goal was to produce a fine-tuned version of the shock by next summer, at which point they will offer the device to potential fleet customers. They said a company such as Wal-Mart could save $13 million annually in fuel costs by equipping its fleet with their shocks.