Roads could generate electricity

Roads of the future could provide the power to charge up the electric cars that drive them.

Israeli engineers are developing a system that would allow the road itself to generate electricity from the flow of cars.

Crystals that convert pressure or vibration into electricity, called piezoelectric crystals, would be embedded in the asphalt, creating current as road transport rumbled over.

According to Haim Abramovich, the developer of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a one kilometre of a four lane highway would generate about 400 kilowatts.

The electricity could then be transmitted to the grid and electric car recharge points or to power parts of the transport infrastructure such as lights.

Piezoelectric crystals embedded in the road could not only generate electricity but also acct as data collectors for "smart roads" of the future, according to the company.

The Committee on Climate Change has said that meeting carbon emissions reduction targets will require the transition away from fossil fuel-burning vehicles.

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