Goodyear Has A Concept Tire That Generates Electricity

We deal with concept cars all the time, so, really, the idea of a 'concept tire' shouldn't be too strange. It sounds a bit weird at first, but when you think about it, it makes sense for the same reasons concept cars do: flashy showcases for cutting-edge technology. And this one, the Goodyear BHO3, does have a good trick: generating electricity.1

Of course, like a concept car, it's not really clear how much of this technology is real and how much is just dream-cream. Goodyear says the tires will (well, will "offer the possibility") transform heat into electricity via this vague explanation:

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

Based on that description, it sounds like some sort of thermo-piezoelectric materials will be used — materials that convert compression force and/or heat into electrical current. It's a clever idea for a tire, which is getting compressed and flexed all the time anyway.

Of course, this is just a concept now — there's no data on how much electricity is created, how it's transferred, or anything like that. But, conceptually, sure, harnessing all that squishing and heating to get energy's not a bad idea. Why not? Have at it.

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