Suzuki Shows Off Its Mild Hybrid System

Suzuki Shows Off Its Mild Hybrid SystemSuzuki Motor Corp exhibited the components of the mild hybrid system that it has been developing at a meeting to explain its four-wheeled vehicle technologies April 16, 2014.

The system uses a belt-driven ISG (integrated starter generator) combined with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.

Suzuki has already commercialized a braking energy regeneration technology called "Ene Charge." It generates electricity with an alternator during deceleration and stores the electricity in a Li-ion battery. The technology improves fuel efficiency by stopping the power generation of the alternator during acceleration to reduce loss of engine power.

For the new mild hybrid system, Suzuki replaced the alternator with an ISG that can contribute to driving force. Also, the company added a pendulum-type belt tensioner so that the tension of the belt becomes optimal both at the time of generating power and at the time of generating a driving force. The belt tensioner is similar to the pendulum-type belt tensioner that Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd employed for its "XV Hybrid."

At the meeting, Suzuki exhibited the ISG and Li-ion battery. Though the company did not disclose the name of the manufacturer of the ISG, it said that the maximum output of the ISG is less than 2kW. So, the maximum output is probably about 1.8kW, which is the same maximum output of the ISG used for Nissan Motor Co Ltd's "Serena" minivan.

Compared with the Ene Charge, the power generation capacity of the mild hybrid system is about 30% higher. It improves fuel efficiency by storing electricity generated in the Li-ion battery and frequently using it for assisting the motor, etc. But Suzuki did not mention specific effects on fuel efficiency improvement.

Suzuki plans to commercialize the new technology first by employing it for a compact car. The company is now sure that it can complete the development of the new technology but still struggling with the costs of the parts used for the system. And it intends to commercialize the new system by solving the problem as soon as possible.