EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to note that kinetic energy is converted to electricity by regenerative brakes.
The line between hybrid vehicles and conventional gasoline-powered vehicles is blurring.
To boost fuel economy and performance, automakers are adding many features - such as power steering, stop-start engine systems and oil and water pumps - that run on electricity.
These features originally were intended for electric vehicles and hybrids, but now are being adapted to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, too.
The goal: Improve fuel economy by minimizing energy loss that occurs when vehicle accessories are powered by belt drives connected to the engine.
Gasoline-powered vehicles also are starting to get regenerative brakes, which convert kinetic energy into electricity to recharge the starter battery.
Among the leaders in the effort is BMW AG, which is rolling out these and other technologies under its EfficientDynamics fuel-saving program.
BMW has introduced electric-powered oil pumps, engine coolant pumps and steering systems. Now it plans to add regenerative brakes and stop-start systems to all its vehicles, and it is developing some gee-whiz computer controls to improve their efficiency.