BMW has been working on thermoelectric power generators for the last few years, winninng an ÖkoGlobe award for their efforts in late 2008. Those prototypes may actually make it into production by 2014 as part of BMW's expanding Efficient Dynamics program. This according to BMW's head of development Klaus Draeger, speaking to Car Magazine in the U.K.

Thermoelectric generators can use any available heat source – in this case waste heat emanating from an internal combustion engine's exhaust – to create electricity that can reduce the load on a car's alternator. BMW hopes its system can power things like the climate control without putting a drag on the petroleum-powered engine.

BMW's engineers believe they can reduce a given vehicle's fuel consumption by about five percent with their TEG, which they say is a bigger reduction than can be achieved with such technologies as stop/start and brake regeneration. We say every little bit helps.

[Source: Car Magazine]

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