Like Israel’s Softwheel for wheelchairs and bikes, Goodyear is asking: Can new ways of engineering tires extend the cruising ranges of electric cars to make them more saleable in the aftermath of the the demise of Shai Agassi’s Better Place electric car venture?
Despite some success in selling electric cars like Nissan’s Leaf model and General Motor’s Chevrolet Volt (more a hybrid), the cruising range of most electric cars is still one of the main issues that cloud a possible electric car success story. Yes, even with Tesla on the market.
Electric car manufacturers are exploring ways of extending the present cruising range of EV cars between battery pack recharges that in most cases are no more than 160 km (100 miles). At least a partial solution may be found in special “concept tires” being developed by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. which will actually help recharge the EV car’s battery pack while the car is in motion.
The tires were exhibited recently as the BH03 Concept Tire at the Geneva International Motor Show. They feature special heat conductors that convert heat generated by road movement into electricity that can then be conveyed to the car’s battery pack. Another feature is a thermo-piezoelectric layer built into the tire wall to collect energy from the sun when the car is parked.
This tire is not yet in production, partually due to its very high developmental costs. If it is made available it could help increase the cruising range of electric cars by virtually supplying electrical energy to the battery while driving on the road or sitting in a parking lot.
Better Place may be gone, but electric cars as Elon Musk is proving, are now becoming reality. They just need novel ways to get their drivers further down the road.
Read more on electric cars:
Can Israeli Cars Run on Alternatives by 2025?
What Tesla Can Learn from Better Place’s Post-Mortem
Renault Gives Up on Israel’s Swappable Electric Car Batteries
The Best Electric Cars of 2012, According to the American Buzz