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Last Thursday, without fanfare or press release, the FIA published the technical regulations for the 2009 season of Formula One, containing the new rules allowing Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems for the first time. And the rules are not those originally proposed.

According to the FIA, a kinetic energy recovery system is 'a system that is designed to recover kinetic energy from the car during braking, store that energy and make it available to propel the car'. So regenerative braking using surge power units is about to become legal in Formula One, after decades of lobbying and development, since well before the Prius was even a glint in Toyota's eye. The FIA has, at last, made several old men moderately happy!

In previous EVWorld articles ('Balanced Power' and ''Hybrids Overtake') on Formula One I highlighted the problems likely to result from the FIA's original proposal to limit the weight of the 'energy recovery device' to 20kg (44lb). The good news is that there are now no limits, maximum or minimum, on the weight of the surge power unit.

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i really wish i'd found the SAE magazine article online. it may be for SAE members only.
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