German luxury vehicle manufacturer, BMW has recently filed a patent for innovative system that works towards using energy from the movement of an EV’s suspension system to charge its battery pack.
The hardware visible in the image appears to be similar to the 48V active anti-roll system, which is common in higher-end performance SUVs.
According to the patent drawings, the suspension system includes a generator unit with a small flywheel mounted on the vehicle’s chassis.
A stabilizer bar connects it to the suspension springs. When the suspension spring compresses, the stabilizer bar twists in one direction, causing an actuator disc to rotate.
Then, when the spring decompresses, it releases the energy stored during the compression stroke, rotating the stabilizer bar and actuator disc in the opposite direction with the assistance of a clutch that allows the disc to drive the generator via a small gearbox.
Finally, as the generator’s flywheel spins, electricity is generated, which is then transferred to the battery pack.
Moreover, it will function in conjunction with the standard regenerative braking in electric vehicles, in which the drive motors act as a generator to harvest energy when the driver presses the brake pedal.
At present, it’s unclear how much additional range this suspension system could produce.
If this system ever goes into production, it will most likely debut with BMW’s high-end electric vehicles.