Here is the first photo of BMW regenerative brake technology in action on a USA model (550i  GT).

2010 BMW 550i And 530d GT PHOTO GALLERY

For the first time in a U.S. BMW model, the new 5 Series Gran Turismo is equipped with BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system.

To save energy and reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption, this system controls the times at which the alternator charges the battery. Conventionally, a car’s alternator runs continuously and thus charging is always available to the battery; in the Gran Turismo, it charges only when the vehicle is decelerating or braking; otherwise, it freewheels, drawing virtually no power from the engine. An electronically controlled clutch, somewhat similar to that used with the air-conditioning compressor, is added to engage and disengage the alternator.

Accommodating the less frequent charging is a special, more powerful battery that can satisfy a contemporary vehicle’s high electrical demands without access to continuous charging. The battery uses a technology called “glass mat,” in which its internal plates are separated with saturated absorbent glass-boron silicate rather than the usual liquid electrolyte. This construction sharply reduces the battery’s conversion of charging energy to heat, and can provide the necessary electrical power for longer periods between charges.

2010 BMW 550i And 530d GT PHOTO GALLERY

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PHOTO GALLERY: First Photos Of BMW Brake Energy Regeneration Dash Display In Action

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