If you are in Ypsilanti, MI and in the mood for some carnivore feed, I highly recommend the Red Rock Downtown BBQ. Lots of great stuff on the menu and plenty of choices if you like microbrews as well. I had the pulled pork sandwich with cowboy beans and it was yummy. Also sampled the mac and cheese, pulled chicken and corn bread the kids were eating.
Over the past several decades, much of Detroit has become a real life example of one of those "what happens when the humans leave" Discovery shows. Large swaths of abandoned neighborhoods have been consumed again by nature.
Michigan State University which has a large agriculture program wants to start an urban farming institute and Detroit would be the ideal location. Hopefully this project comes to fruition. If the city can finally find a way to consolidate the far-flung but shrinking population into a more manageable and concentrated part of the city, many thousands of acres could potentially be reverted to farm land.
Even Ferrari has acknowledged the need for electrification at some level to reduce fuel consumption. They recently filed an update to a patent application that’s been floating around the European patent office for a couple of years http://bit.ly/HRtV18. Apparently they still take time to consider patents for actual tangible devices unlike software patents that seem to get rubber-stamped willy-nilly; but that’s another story.
Ferrari has been working on mild hybrid kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) for it’s Formula One cars for a several years. This application looks like it might be an outgrowth of that work. It consists of two motor/generators to provide propulsion and regenerative braking. One motor is connected to the rear mounted transmission to propel the vehicle much like the F1 layout.
The second motor is where things get interesting. In most strong hybrid vehicles, manufacturers have adopted electrically driven air conditioning compressors and power steering so that they can still function while the engine is off either during EV mode or stop-start.
The layout described by Ferrari retains the belt driven accessories powered by the engine. The second motor/generator is driven by the same belt. When the engine is off, a freewheel mechanism on the engine drive pulley allows the motor to continue turning the accessories using power from the battery. When the accessory loads are low, the engine can also drive the motor/generator to charge the battery. This differs from the KERS system Ferrari used on its F1 cars which only had one motor. Since the F1 cars never shutoff the engine, there was no need to drive the accessories (namely the alternator and power steering) electrically.
This setup looks like it can have a couple of potential advantages despite the added mechanical complexity. Ferrari can use the same accessories it uses on non-hybrid versions of the car. That means they can stay with a hydraulic power steering pump which many enthusiasts prefer for enhanced steering feel.
The downside is that the accessories continue to be driven all the time unlike the on-demand electric versions on other hybrids. That means that parasitic losses are reduced but not by nearly as much. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for high-performance manufacturers like Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini.
Update: I wanted to clarify that there is an error in the C&D story and most of the other posts it spawned. Ferrari did not ever race a flywheel-based KERS system. The Ferrari system used a battery and motor like most production hybrids. Only Williams produced a flywheel system for F1. This system has since been lincensed to Porsche and Audi for the 911 GT3R hybrid and the R18 e-Tron quattro.