Regenerative braking might have a partner in crime with Goodyear’s regenerative tires.
Photo via Goodyear
We were all taught in middle and high school science classes that friction produces heat. One common example of this is the friction and heat created by car tires moving across pavement. Most of the time, that energy goes to waste, which electric car companies try to minimize in order to keep batteries charged.
However, Goodyear wants to solve this problem by creating regenerative tires to utilize heat and vibration to keep a car’s battery charged, a concept that they presented at the Geneva Auto Show last week. Gizmodo reports that the tires, called BH-03, are still in the early concept stages and would harvest heat from different processes, including the heat produced from the friction of tires on the road, the sunlight shining on the tire, and even the vibration and bumps that come with regular driving.
The BH-O3 has an inner coating made by a layer of piezoelectric material underneath the rubber of the tire. Gizmodo reports “piezoelectric materials can generate electricity from the application of mechanical force, but in this instance, the (non-specified) 'thermo-piezoelectric' material takes excess heat from the outside of the tire and converts it into electricity.” Popular Science breaks it down in layman’s terms, saying that the electricity is generated through the tire pressing down against the road as it moves or from the tire heating up. A lot of different sources can cause the tires to heat up, from simply sitting in a hot parking lot to cruising down the highway to “drifting” and doing cool tricks.
While there are still many questions about the cost of the tires and the amount of energy they would supply to the car, to name a few, the concept of regenerative tires is pretty revolutionary and, if successful, will be a good partner to regenerative braking.
You can watch Goodyear’s promotional video for the tires below: