Heat-gathering concept tire charges electric cars on the go

At the Geneva auto show, Goodyear shows off an intriguing concept tire that would feed an electric car's batteries while rolling down the road.

Goodyear BH03
This concept tire could help defeat range anxiety. Goodyear

Since no one wants to be stranded with an empty battery, electric-car-range anxiety is a real thing. A Goodyear concept tire approaches the problem with a way to charge an electric car while it's rolling down the road.

The basic idea behind the BH03 is that it takes the heat generated while driving and transforms it into electrical energy that could be used to recharge a car's batteries.

Details on the tire, which is constructed with a layer of thermo-piezoelectric material, are a bit vague. "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," Goodyear says.

The BH03 tire is also designed with ultra-black textured patches meant to absorb both light and heat. Sunlight warms up the tires on a parked electric car, adding to the heat that can be transformed into electric energy.

Goodyear also introduced a second concept tire with three tubes under the tread. An internal pump adjusts the inflation of the tire depending on road conditions.

Both the BH03 and triple-tube tires are just concepts at this point. The ideas are on display at the Geneva auto show. Last year at the show, Goodyear made a splash with an SUV concept tire sporting two rings, each with its own air chambers. The outer ring is meant for on-road use, while an inner ring with an aggressive tread comes into play in rougher, off-road conditions.

These tires may not reach the market anytime soon, but they do give us a fascinating glimpse at the future of high-tech tires.

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