Thermo-Piezoelectric Tires may help Charge EV Batteries

March 12, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

During the recent 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company unveiled their latest concept tire, the BH03. The innovative tire aims to address the issue with range anxiety owners of electric cars are having. Goodyear's goal for the BHO3 concept tire is for it to charge up an electric car's battery while moving on the road by processing the heat generated while driving the electric car and transform it into electric energy that would recharge the battery. Think about the Range Extender function BMW has currently for the i3.

Tires flex as they roll, creating heat. The BHO3 concept tire includes a layer of a thermo-piezoelectric material and ultra-black textured patches that will be able to absorb both heat and light. The patches capture the sunlight when the car is idle and the absorbed heat will be added to the energy that can be transformed into the electric energy.

“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 company said in a statement. The second concept tire revealed at Geneva was the called “Triple Tube.” It contains three tubes that adjust tire inflation pressure in response to changing road conditions, delivering new levels of performance and versatility.

“These concept tires re-imagine the role that tires may play in the future,” commented Joe Zekoski, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Goodyear. “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”