While it's not exactly enough to turn Formula One green, the racing league at least looks to be taking some steps in that direction, with it now announcing that it plans to phase in a new hybrid transmission system starting in 2009. Unlike hybrid systems found in regular cars, however, the so-called Kinetic Energy Recovery System (or KERS) doesn't store up energy in a battery, but instead captures kinetic energy during vehicle deceleration using a flywheel mechanism. That apparently not only makes it particularly well-suited to Formula One cars due to their repeated deceleration, but also has the added benefit of being significantly lighter than a battery-based hybrid system, with it adding just 55 pounds to the weight of the car. Not surprisingly, however, the phase-in won't exactly happen overnight, with it set to extend out until 2013, during which time it'll also be tied to other changes aimed at reducing the size and output of the engines.
[Via Autoblog Green