Electric motorcycles and other vehicles may soon be charged by the heat built up in the tyres.
Goodyear has developed a concept tyre for cars which transfers the heat into electricity to store in the battery of an electric vehicle.
There is nothing stopping them from doing the same with motorcycle tyres.
It’s called kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and it’s not really a new concept. Anyone who has been following Formula One racing will know they use it.
However, Goodyear’s BH-03 concept tyres are a unique way of capturing the kinetic energy of heat.
When you drive or ride, your tyres heat up from friction with the road surface. Put your hand on your tyres after a good strop through the hills and you will notice how hot they are.
That kinetic energy is lost when the tyre cools down.
However, Goodyear uses thermo piezoelectric material in the tyre to store the energy and transform it into electricity. It also harnesses the energy forces that deform the tyre.
For maximum effect Goodyear uses “ultra black” tyre compound to attract sunlight and heat, and a heat-absorbing tread pattern. To avoid overheating, there is also a vent cooling system.
The stored electricity can be used to recharge the vehicle’s battery.
It certainly wouldn’t be enough to power the whole car, but it should be able to help top up the battery and perhaps lengthen the vehicle’s range.
Electric vehicles are well and truly set to enter the mainstream market in the next few years with motorcycle companies such as BMW, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and Victory showing keen interest.
The biggest hurdle is what they call “range anxiety”, but with inventions such as these tyres, anxiety could be diminished.