New technology can be exciting and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Mazda’s i-ELOOP system is as innovative as they come, and our experts have weighed in to help you understand how it can benefit Chicago Mazda drivers in a real way.
The first thing to know about i-ELOOP is that it doesn’t add a battery pack to the car like a conventional hybrid, and Mazda vehicles equipped with this technology are not hybrids. That doesn’t mean that i-ELOOP doesn’t make a meaningful difference in fuel economy though.
Most cars on the road today have an alternator, which is powered by the engine to produce electricity for things like the radio, climate control and lights. The problem with a conventional alternator is that it’s constantly running, even when you don’t need it or want the power it sucks up, like during acceleration. What Mazda i-ELOOP does is engage and disengage the alternator based on what the car is doing. When accelerating, the alternator freewheels, which means all the power the engine produces goes to making the car move. That means lower fuel consumption.
Meanwhile, when you decelerate the alternator starts producing a massive amount of electricity, turning your kinetic energy into power. That power is then stored in a capacitor, which slowly feeds the normal car battery based on how much electricity you’re using. It’s completely seamless, and the driving experience is no different than a normal car beyond the increased fuel economy.
Want to check out Mazda i-ELOOP for yourself? Well, it’s available on the 2014 Mazda6 sedan right now, allowing the vehicle to return up to 38 mpg on the highway. Stop by our Illinois Mazda6 dealership today and try it out.