Scientists have figured out how to generate electric power from car tyres.

The new technology which uses the rotation of a tyre to generate electricity has been developed by Sumitomo Rubber Industries and Kansai University.

The research, undertaken by Professor Hiroshi Tani of Kansai University, found that by installing an energy harvester inside a tyre, static electricity can be converted to clean energy.

This energy harvester takes advantage of a type of static electricity called frictional charging, which is formed each time a tyres footprint deforms as it rotates on the road.

It is believed this technology holds great potential for practical applications such as a power source for many automotive digital tools.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) is the fifth largest tyre manufacturer in the world, with names that include Falken, Sumitomo Tyres and Ohtsu here in Australia.

The company has been working to introduce new automotive solution services using tools that take advantage of a wide range of data.

Its “Smart Tyre Concept” aims to respond to the sweeping changes in the automotive industry and demand for greater safety and environmental performance for consumers.

SRI are confident that the results of this latest research will lead to practical applications for this new technology.

For example as a power source for sensors used in TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) and other automotive devices, contributing to the creation of future services that make use of digital tools without the need for batteries.


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Headshot Riley 96x96 - Breakthrough tyres generate power as they turn


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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