These New Tires Can Actually Harvest Energy As They Drive

Photos courtesy of Sumitomo

Tire manufacturer Sumitomo has come up with a way to extract energy from a car through the tires. The design uses a tire’s movement and gathers small amounts of electricity to be stored as it drives.

Sumitomo reports that the energy is gathered through a power generating device called an “energy harvester”. It’s mounted to the inside floor of a tire so as the vehicle moves and the tire flexes, static electricity is generated resulting in the harvester generating a small current of electricity.

While the amount of energy gathered isn’t enough to recharge a battery or power headlights, Sumitomo says it can be used to monitor smaller electric systems such as tire pressure monitoringsensors.

Sumitomo worked on the technology in a joint research project with Hiroshi Tani, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Kansai University in Osaka, Japan.

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