The potential for brake energy regeneration under Swedish conditions

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The ability to regenerate energy when braking is a valuable advantage of hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The regeneration potential mainly depends on how a car is driven and on the capacity of the drivetrain. Detailed studies of the regeneration potential based on brake energy in real-world driving are needed to better understand the potential gains of car-electrification, since test cycles do not take individual driving characteristics or route elevation into account. This study uses a model of a normalized vehicle and a highly detailed and representative data set of individual car movements including elevation to analyze the potential for energy regeneration in cars when driven under current real-world Swedish conditions.The ultimate energy regeneration potential (defined as the braking energy at the wheels) varies by about a factor of six among individual movement patterns, with an average of 0.033 kW h/km, corresponding to 27% of the total average energy supplied at the wheels. Earlier studies have shown a higher energy regeneration potential per km for cars driving under urban conditions with low average velocity and many starts and stops. Our results confirm this but also point out that a low average velocity and a high share of city driving are not very well correlated with the yearly energy savings; for this the yearly mileage is a more important indicator. This suggests that drivers who rack up the miles should be targeted as potential early adopters of regenerative technologies rather than city drivers per se. The results from real-world driving are compared to the NEDC and WLTP test cycles.




Björnsson, L. H., & Karlsson, S. (2016). The potential for brake energy regeneration under Swedish conditions. Applied Energy, 168, 75–84.

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