Vehicle technology is changing and this includes the commercial vehicle industry. As more and more hybrid and electric trucks make their way onto the market, it is imperative that other forms of transportation technology keep up. This includes commercial vehicle braking systems.
Without continuing innovations in braking technology, dealers and aftermarket services could be inundated with unfamiliar systems and technology while being expected to maintain these systems. One of the innovations that seeks to ease and simplify these changes is regenerative braking. This quick guide will give you more information on this innovative brake technology.
What Is Regenerative Braking?
This type of braking technology uses kinetic energy that is created during braking. This energy is converted into electricity. That electricity is then routed through an electric motor and on into the vehicle’s batteries. This extends its range. This type of technology is standard now in hybrid and electric vehicles. This technology is also being introduced into heavy-duty OEMs as the first generation of electric versions of these vehicles makes their debut. Soon, this type of technology will be widespread across the trucking industry.
It is imperative that service operators become familiar with how regenerative braking systems work.
How Does Regenerative Braking Work?
Regenerative braking starts with the truck’s foundation brakes. ICE diesel-powered trucks achieve braking through the application of torque applied to the wheel ends. The difference in regenerative braking in hybrid and electric vehicles is that this is not the only method for stopping. Inside the braking system of an EV braking torque is supplied with motors that use driver inverters. Basically, the motors of EVs have the capability to both push electricity outward to move forward and to pull it back in to brake. The battery in the EV can both power the motor and act as a power absorber.
This essentially acts as free fuel also sometimes referred to as found fuel. This conserves the electricity circulating within the system. In a highly efficient system, up to 15% of the electricity can be conserved through the use of regenerative braking systems. This system works very well for vehicles that do a lot of starting and stopping.
What Does This Mean for The Trucking Industry?
Although many people have a hard time accepting it, the day will come when even big semis use primarily electricity as a fuel source. It is imperative that service providers stay up to date on system innovations in order to stay relevant and profitable in the age of EVs.