A new hybrid vehicle technology based on flywheel storage of energy as opposed to battery storage. Several companies including Drive-train Innovations, SKF, Bosch, CCM and Punch Power Train are sponsoring the development of the power-train technology as a joint venture with Eindhoven University. The system has been implemented in an operational hybrid vehicle since last September, but the electronic control system that regulates when the system uses flywheel energy versus engine power is still being developed.
A flywheel stores energy by increasing the rotation of rotor suspended in a vacuum chamber to reduce friction. As energy is drawn from the system, the rotational speed of the rotor decreases and the speed increases when energy is added to the system. The system is based on a clutch that rotates through the vacuum chamber. Flywheel technology is more efficient than battery energy storage.