With a huge push towards electric and hybrid vehicles being the future of motoring, manufacturers are looking at all possible ways of generating energy to charge batteries and reduce the ‘range anxiety’ which plagues any potential buyer of an electric car. Goodyear has a unique solution though – in Geneva last week they revealed the world’s first electricity generating tyre.
It’s called the BH03, and it converts vibrations, tyre deformations, sunlight, and rolling friction into electrical energy which can be stored in a hybrid or electric cars batteries and used for propulsion.
The tyre features ‘ultra-black’ textured patches which are made of a thermoelectric material. This surface, when the tyres are static, converts energy from the sun into electric energy.
Piezoelectric materials are also used in the tyre’s construction, which converts pressure from road vibrations, friction, and deformations such as hitting bumps and potholes, into electric energy.
These materials are formed in a 3D network to form the inner structure of the car, which also acts as a self-supporting structure that effectively makes the BH03 a run-flat tyre. When punctured, the BH03 can be driven on for up to 80km range at speeds of up to 80km/h.
Goodyear has stated they will not be producing the tyre and that it is merely a concept to fuel debate and further innovation. But whilst it won’t see production just yet, it bodes well for the future of electric cars and the ways in which they can regenerate electric power – either greatly increasing the range, or allowing manufacturers to equip smaller, lighter weight batteries as they can be recharged constantly on the road. Less battery weight = better driving dynamics and increased efficiency – a win on all fronts.