One Day, Your Electric Car’s Tyres Might Charge Its Battery

One Day, Your Electric Car’s Tyres Might Charge Its Battery

There have been a lot of cool and beautiful vehicles shown at the Geneva Motor Show, as well of some amazing futuristic pieces. Alongside electric supercars like the Audi R8 e-tron, though, there’s a concept from Goodyear that might point to the future of charging electric cars.

Although it’s one of those lovely thermodynamic problems that it’s impossible to charge a car more than the amount of electricity you expend accelerating it — unless you’re rolling perpetually downhill, obviously — there are a lot of points in the motion of a vehicle that lose energy. Tyres and brakes, for example, expend energy in the form of heat when your car is in motion, and it’s possible to harness that energy and store it again in your electric car’s battery.

Thus, we meet the Goodyear BH03. It’s a concept tyre that uses (as-yet-unspecified, obviously) materials inside the ply of the tyre — past all the rubber that touches the road — to capture the heat and transfer it back to your car’s battery. This is an idea that makes sense on the face of it, especially when you consider that any coal or nuclear power plant operates at least in part by the simple transfer of heat.

Here’s what Goodyear has to say about the BH03. It’s not a working concept, but more a forward-looking idea — and, to be honest, it’s certainly potentially possible with a bit of nifty materials engineering and a few (maybe quite a few) years of fiddly high-tech wizard electrical maths kinda stuff.

This tyre generates electricity through the action of materials in the tyre that capture and transform the energy created by heat when it flexes as it rolls during normal driving conditions. The materials used would optimise the tyre’s electricity generation capabilities as well as its rolling resistance.

As demand for electric cars grows, this technology has the potential to significantly contribute to the solution of future mobility challenges. This visionary tyre technology could eliminate the vehicle-range anxiety motorists may have with electric cars.

Maybe one day you’ll be able to stick four of these on your Tesla Model S or BMW i8 and drive across the country, recharging your battery as you go.