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Forget plug-ins, Goodyear’s BH03 tires could charge your EV by gathering heat

Over the years, automakers have developed countless creative ways to charge the batteries on electric vehicles and hybrids. There’s regenerative braking, solar panels, plug-in models, hydrogen fuel cells, and many other methods to replenish that precious current.

In the future, EVs could be charged with something much simpler: rubber.

At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear proved that by debuting a new tire concept called the BH03.

The BH03, according to the company, “offers the possibility of charging the batteries of electric cars by transforming the heat generated by the rolling tire into electrical energy.”

The tires use an “ultra black texture” to absorb light and heat, which sends a small, constant supply of power to the vehicle’s batteries. The BH03 is made from a thermo/piezoelectric material, which in layman’s terms means it converts mechanical stress into electrical energy. It’s not enough to power the car completely, but the trickle charge could theoretically improve overall range and efficiency of future EVs and hybrids.

The BH03 is just a concept at this stage, but it’s enough to make that Tesla guy (Nikola or Elon, your choice) proud.

Related: Throw away the tire pressure gauge! Goodyear is testing self-inflating tires

Goodyear also announced the Triple Tube tire in Geneva, which features three internal tubes with an integrated pump.

The advantage to this is adaptability, as the Triple Tube can adjust to a variety of road conditions. The ‘Eco/Safety’ setting is designed to maximize economy, and all three tubes are fully inflated. There’s also a ‘Sporty’ mode, which reduces the pressure of the onboard shoulder tube to provide optimized dry handling. Last but not least is the ‘Wet Traction’ position that maxes out the inflation of the center tube to reduce the chance of hydroplaning.

“These concept tires reimagine the role that tires may play in the future,” said Joe Zekoski, Chief Technical Officer at Goodyear. “We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile.”