Posted By RichC on March 18, 2015
The future of transportation will likely include electric power even if automotive purist cringe at the thought of their beloved internal combustion engines losing ground. I’m as old school as the next car-lover, but can’t deny hybrid vehicles and EVs have come a long way in the past decade; the future will no doubt see more. Still, we are a long way from self-charging, be it solar power, fuel cells or induction strips built in to our highways.
Goodyear engineers have been doing their part to innovate too. Low rolling resistant tires squeeze a few more miles out of a gallon or a “charge” and have even created a way for tires to charge a battery.
The new concept tire, the BHO3, uses piezoelectricity. This is the charge that builds up in certain materials when they are squeezed … think about a tire being deformed as it rolls down the road. At this point it is a very small amount of electricity, but together with thermoelectricity from temperature differentials, advanced tires can add to the the power being produced by regenerative brakes and vehicle solar paint or panels can return to a vehicles power pack. Goodyear researchers are focused on what materials do the best job of producing power and how to incorporate something like quartz, ceramics and salts into the tire as well as thermoelectric materials such as bismuth telluride and tin selenide. According to the comments I’ve read, these high tech tires are probably 10 to 15 years away.