The Toyota Motor Corporation has unveiled a simple hybrid system called THS-M (Toyota Hybrid System-Mild) that, the company claims, can help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Instead of the belt-driven alternator that is commonly used in conventional engines, THS-M uses a motor/generator powered by a 36V battery that switches between functions according to driving conditions.
When a THS-M based vehicle comes to a stop, the system goes into an ‘idling stop’ mode, automatically shutting down the engine to prevent idling. The motor/generator is then used to start the vehicle moving before the engine kicks back in, as well as restart the engine. It also charges the battery as needed during engine operation, and regenerates energy during vehicle deceleration and braking. What’s more, it power accessories such as air conditioner compressor when the vehicle is in the ‘idling stop’ mode.
THS-M improves fuel efficiency by about 15% and reduces emissions. Toyota says that by combining it with a direct fuel-injection gasoline engine, it should be possible to achieve emissions 50% lower than Japanese government standards for 2000.
Toyota plans to release the first THS-M vehicle in the autumn.