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Ferrari Targeting 40% Reduction in CO2 by 2012; Looking to Use F1 KERS System

In an interview published in Welt am Sonntag Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo said the company is targeting a 40% reduction in CO2 in its sports cars by 2012.

Ferrari is therefore working on a short-term reduction of emissions and in the long term on new technologies. We are developing a Ferrari that uses alternative sources of energy and could build on what we have in Formula 1 with the KERS energy recovery system.

The mechanical KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery) system utilizes flywheel technology to recover and store a moving vehicle’s kinetic energy which is otherwise wasted when the vehicle is decelerated. The energy is received from the driveline through a CVT as the vehicle decelerates, and is subsequently released back into the driveline, again through the CVT, as the vehicle accelerates. (Earlier post.)

F1 racing is deploying energy recovery systems in its vehicles in 2009.



A 40% reduction sounds like a lot doesn't it?

Well, to put things into perspective, Ferrari is talking about going from approximately a 400g CO2/km fleet average to about a 280-300g CO2/km fleet average. This falls pathetically short of the mandated EU 2012 120g/km fleet limit. (for reference a Prius is rated at 106g/km)

Unless Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Daimler, Audi, etc. enter into a patent-sharing agreement with Tesla (or other pure EV start-up), I don't see how these (or any) car manufacturers will meet the mandated EU limits with ICE designs.

A paradigm shift is required across the board- but especially so for high power/weight ratio vehicles!


There aren't too many Ferraris on the road and the ones that are usually are low mileage weekend toys. Ferraris and other similar vehicles are not where the problem is. Even if we eliminated all of them altogether, the effect on net world C02 emissions would be negligible.

Whether they, or any other company, can meet the forthcoming EU limits is a different issue, but I don't see the point in making a low volume manufacturer such as Ferrari comply with them. There is a lot more to be gained by companies such as Renault and VW meeting those requirements. That is not to say Ferrari should not bother at all in reducing C02 emissions or should be given a free pass. I think the fact that they're trying at all is admirable.


Tough gig for Ferrari as their customers expect v8/10/12 engines.

IMO, they need to go with something exotic like a parallel HEV with a turbine as the genset.


"the mandated EU 2012 120g/km fleet limit"

AFAIAA this has now been dropped in favour of 125g/km coming into force in 2015.


Low-volume boutique cars or not- all manufacturers should be required to make cleaner cars.

Slight difference 125g/km by 2015 vs. 120g/km by 2012. Either way- completely unatainable with legacy ICEs.

For reference:
A 560bhp Gallardo is rated at 327g/km, a 440bhp 6.2 liter V8 Corvette C6 is rated at 316g/km, while a current 480bhp 911 Turbo is rated at 306g/km.

Therefore, achieving only a 40% reduction in CO2 emmissions is a particularly low target for Ferrari to shoot for IMO. I would hope that their high paid engineers could do a little more than a fleet average of 300g/km.


Anyone have any recommendations on where I can learn about this KERS system?



You might find this link interesting, because it features KERS and road as well as race Ferraris. There is much more to come, without losing the 'essence of Ferrari':-

For 'deeper' stuff, try:-

For something more up-to-date:-'Back_from_the_Future'_Race_Tech_Aug_07.pdf



Thanks Chris, this is way better than what Google gave me!


Wow, way better!

Without having read everything, my main question is this: Why couldn't the KERS system be used in lieu of ultracapacitors to store energy and transfer it into batteries for use later?

There would be many benefits if KERS energy were somehow transferred into a battery through a system that efficiently syphoned the energy off of the spinning flywheels at a rate slow enough for the batteries to ingest. The inertia that is lost by the flywheels when a road car is parked is stored instead of fading away, it continues to pave the way for an electric infrastructure overall since it's increasing HEV range instead of acting as a competing and exclusive ICE-only technology, and it solves a key problem with brake energy recovery inefficiency on HEV's. Plus there's no limit on how much energy a KERS can store outside of the racing world.

Now if racing needs some sort of a competition between these systems to motivate them over working together, then be my guest if that'll help. I just see the potential for a synergy here, though unfortunately my degree is not in engineering.

Roger Pham

FYI, I hereby re-post my previous comment on this topic:

"Flywheel energy storage is a good alternative to battery in HEV...for a HFV (Hybrid Flywheel Vehicle, shall we?), especially given the fact that battery still will not last the entire life of the HEV and must be replaced for a hefty sum of money. Furthermore, the recent shortage of lanthanum has restricted battery production for the Prius' NiMh battery.

Given the low energy storage capacity of flywheel but very rapid discharge of power, a small battery pack (~0.3kwh, instead of 1.3kwh as in the Prius) can provide additional energy reserve for stop-start function and energy recuperation. Since this small battery pack is used much less often, it will last longer, or if not, it will be much cheaper to replace. This will give us a HEFV (Hybrid Electric Flywheel Vehicle) :)

The beauty of a HEFV is in cost and weight saving, when the flywheel and the starter-generator motor can be combined into one unit. Thus, we have a flywheel-starter-generator-motor (FSGM) all-in-one unit capable of provide direct power to accelerate the vehicle via a torotrak or Xtrak transmission. Then, when the FSGM reaches its maximum rated rpm, the stator coil will be closed, providing current to charge the battery while keeping its rpm within safe limit.

How's that for a super-duper IMA, Honda engineers? The problem with Honda's hybrid is the low recuperative potential and weak power of the IMA due to the drag of the engine and small size of the motor and battery. Using a FSGM coupled with Xtrak, we will have phenomenon acceleration, like a drag racer from 0-60 mph, along with complete recuperative braking due to the phenomenon power absorption of the FSGM engine-off driving mode using both the mechanical power of the flywheel and the electrical power of the battery...all for a lower acquisition cost and long-term cost than a comparable Toyota's HSD."

What'd ya say, Chris?

Look in the following link for more info and the rest of the comments:


Well Roger, if we both thought of the same thing then I certainly hope that the auto companies have thought of it as well. If not, one of us should get a job at one. I nominate you. I'll make a movie about it or something.

Seems to me the only thing holding a company back from doing this are reliability issues concerning using two new and cutting edge technologies at the same time.

Regardless, if it means I can drive fast and use less gas, then I want this on my next car.


I just read that Ferrari's upcoming "California" model achieves ~300g/km. This is significant as the only major improvement the 4.3 liter V8 engine Ferrari utilizes in this application is a Bosch-derived gasoline direct injection system.

(For reference, the same mill without GDI achieves a pathetic ~490g/km in the Ferrari 430.)

Surely using something as ground-breaking as KERS would facilitate a further decrease g/km. Aim higher, Ferrari!

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