Can Cars Driving on the Freeway Actually Generate Electricity?

Freeway traffic can actually help make the planet greener

The vibration caused when cars roll down a street isn't a sensation most people pay attention to, but California Assemblyman Mike Gatto says those vibrations could be of value to California.

"I think it's quite possible that a major new source of renewable energy is right beneath our feet, or more accurately, our tires," according to Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank.

He's introduced legislation proposing the state conduct a pilot program placing sensors under roads. The sensors would capture the vibrations caused by cars, which would then be converted into electricity.

"A one mile stretch of two lane highway can generate enough power to power 500 homes for an entire year, or to power 120 electrical vehicles a day, according to Gatto.

And street lights, neighborhoods, and traffic signals.

The technology is called piezoelectric generation.

"My bill takes existing money that was set aside years ago for creative projects just like this. It does not use any new tax dollars," according to Gatto. "The money is already there, and we're only going to do this when the roads are set for their regularly rescheduled re-paving. We're not going to tear up any roads, we're just going to stick the technology underneath the roads when they're scheduled for paving anyway."


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A potential, renewable energy source for a state with a wealth of cars on the road.

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