Nanotechnology is at it again, this time with nanogenerators

Nanotechnology never ceases to amaze me. Considering how complex we humans like to make things, not to mention how big we like to make things (SUVs anyone?), going ultra-small holds so many advantages. We talk about range-extenders when we speak of electric cars all the time, but the idea of carrying around an internal combustion (IC) engine all the time for the few times we would actually need to use it seems to make little sense in the long run. The problem is that with current battery technology, an electric-only car just will not work for everybody. So, vehicles like the HySeries Ford Edge concept using hydrogen as a range extender and the Chevy Volt using a small IC engine that can be powered by biofuels as a range extender may be seen as just a stepping stone to bridge the battery gap. But, what if you could pack hundreds, or even thousands of tiny generators which could generate electricity to charge the batteries while you drive just from the vibration of the road? Sound intriguing? It certainly does to me, as these tiny generators could be integrated nearly anywhere on a modern vehicle, and would weigh next to nothing. Obviously, cost and the available power from the nanogenerators would need to be worked out as this technology is still in the infant stage. But, it does hold out a hope for the future, doesn't it?

[Sources: Physorg and Technology Review]

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