ZF, Levant Power to Develop the World’s First Regenerative Suspension

With regenerative brakes becoming an increasingly popular way to save energy on road and race cars, engineers have started looking into other vehicle systems that may be used for similar purposes. Recently, transmission manufacturer ZF and US-based company Levant Power have started working on the world’s first fully active and regenerative suspension.
ZF/Levant Power regenerative suspension 1 photo
Photo: Levant Power
According to the two companies, the goal is not just to create a regenerative suspension automobile, but also make it affordable enough to be put into mass production and introduced to the market on production cars.

The new regenerative suspension will feature an innovative valve technology, which is composed of its own control unit, an electric motor and an electrohydraulic gear pump, that will be fitted to the outside of a ZF-developed damper. The gear pump will regulate the oil flow to the damper, enabling it to adapt optimally and automatically to the driving conditions.

To recover energy, the valve system will automatically use the swaying motion of the damper piston and guide the oil in the damper, driving the electric pump motor, which, in turn, will convert kinetic energy into electricity and feed it to the vehicle’s power supply. In addition, the system will also help reduce CO2 emissions.

“We look forward to working closely together with Levant Power. The objective is to develop the world’s first fully active and regenerative suspension, make it ready for volume production and introduce it to the market. Thus, we are promoting efficient innovations that are tailored to meet global requirements,” said Rolf Heinz Ruger, in charge of the Suspension Technology business unit of ZF’s Car Chassis Technology division.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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