Sumitomo Rubber is working on new technology that could see car tyres generate electricity while driving.

Boffins from Sumitomo Rubber Industries in Japan are working on technology that could see car tyres generate electricity while you drive. It’s always baffled me why we haven’t worked on some sort of in-wheel generator until now…

Sumitomo calls its tech the Energy Harvester which uses built-up static electricity (this is also known as frictional charging) to produce electricity when the tyre turns.

“Inside the Energy Harvester are two layers of rubber each covered in an electrode, along with a negatively charged film that interfaces with a positively charged film. When fixed to the inside of a conventional tyre carcass it generates electricity as the tyre deforms during rotation,” Sumitomo Rubber said.

Instead of this method of energy production being used to top-up an electric or hybrid vehicle, Sumitomo Rubber claims it’s more likely application will be to power things like tyre-pressure management systems. There’s no word yet on when this power source will make it into production.


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