Is This Tire About To Revolutionize The Electric Vehicle?

The Electricity-Generating Tire: Combining Locomotion With Energy Production
The latest manufacturing proposal designed to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is a tire that generates its own electricity. The Goodyear company, which for more than a century has been producing tires used by fossil fuel-burning vehicles, is putting its expertise to work in developing something that could significantly enhance electric car technology. The end result could be a reduction in energy use by consumers and businesses alike.

concept-tire

Paving The Way To A New Era Of Transportation
Though growing in popularity, electric vehicles are saddled by limited range and their relatively small sizes, factors that in turn limit their commercial viability. However, vehicles that use electricity created by their own motion would circumvent both of these issues. Trucks, buses, recreational vehicles and even luxury cars could adopt this new technology, literally paving the way to limitless driving opportunities.

When The Piezoelectric Material Meets The Road
The Goodyear idea could use the principle of piezoelectricity, which is essentially electrical energy created by the squeezing of certain materials. Tires are constantly subject to squeezing as they roll along the ground, which could generate a constant current if constructed of the correct materials.

Piezoelectric materials, which include quartz, are currently used in such consumer products as cigarette lighters and, in the military, as fuses in rocket-propelled grenades. Another possible method would employ the principle of thermoelectricity, which involves the conversion of heat into power.

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The Fuel Cell Challenge 
The next manufacturing dilemma would be to find a way of using the electricity created to power the vehicle or of storing the power so it could be used later. One possibility would involve running a connection from the tire to the hub and, from there, to the vehicle’s battery.

From Dream Concept To Actual Cars?
Electricity-generating tires are at this time only a dream and even farther from being a practical reality. However, they offer the promise of reducing energy consumption while at the same time stimulating to the American manufacturing sector. A revitalized auto industry working in concert with a technology beneficial to everyone could be the spark that returns the American economy to greatness. Can anyone think of other benefits of electricity-generating tires?

Article Sources:
http://www.wired.com

Sean Thomas
 

Is a former sports blogger who has interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. When he’s not studying the paths of successful startups, he enjoys hiking with his dogs and spending time with his wife.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
Jennifer

The tread on this tire looks jagged, aggressive and cool. It looks like an artist’s rendering for a concept of a tire for some futuristic combat vehicle in a science fiction action thriller. I should have known better than to think this was nothing more than a concept image. This technology is all theory at this point. I wonder if anyone is making rims and tires whose tread resembles this artist drawing, cause I’ll buy a set. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for this tech to take off.

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Peter

Since we’re talking tire technology, it reminded me of a news report I heard about the Canadian Tire company which commissioned the development of a concept tire, which has a sidewall that turns from white to blue at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. That report taught me that minus 7 degrees Celsius is the tipping point for switching over to winter tires. But most Canadians are unaware of how summer and all-season tires are compromised at temperatures below that tipping point.

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Brandon

You’d be surprised to find how big a difference a little tire maintenance makes, when it comes to safety and fuel economy. What won’t be as shocking is how often simple things like checking your tire pressure is neglected. A friend of mine who lives in South Carolina, not too far from the Goodyear headquarters told me that the company has long been working on a system of self inflating tires, and has recently announced that it’s moving on a new testing phase of this technology. We’re in an era of rapidly advancing automotive technology.

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Shila

This tech sounds like science fiction, but keep in mind that advances like the tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control and supplemental restraint system were considered luxury items just a couple of decades ago, but now are standard equipment on all vehicles. To say that technology has changed is an understatement, but the truth is that the next five to 10 years will probably be the most influential in the history of the automobile.

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Thomas

This tech sounds like science fiction, but keep in mind that advances like the tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability control and supplemental restraint system were considered luxury items just a couple of decades ago, but now are standard equipment on all vehicles. To say that technology has changed is an understatement, but the truth is that the next five to 10 years will probably be the most influential in the history of the automobile.

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