New road surface generates power
by David Masters
January 5, 2009
A new road surface has been discovered that generates electricity as cars drive over it.
Developed in Israel and announced last month by the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), the road surface contains thousands of miniscule piezoelectric crystal that generate electricity when squeezed together.
According to the ETA, if the surface were installed on every British motorway, it would generate enough electricity to power 34,500 small cars.
The problem with this ‘solution’ is that it perpetuates the idea that driving could be an environmentally sound practice.
There are 30 million vehicles on Britain’s roads, and the 34,500 cars that could be powered by installing the surface on the country’s motorways represents just over 0.1% of the UK’s vehicles.
This leaves 99.9% of vehicles still powered by petrol, diesel or coal-produced electricity.
To put it another way, if only the 34,500 cars powered by the system drove on the UK’s roads, there would only be enough energy produced to power 34.5 vehicles (the 0.5 presumably being an electric motorbike).
It’s not exactly an efficient or effective system, and that’s without even mentioning the environmental desecration that occurs when raw materials are mined to build new road surfaces.
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