Not long ago, we reported that BMW was awarded a prize
for installing a thermoelectric generator at the exhaust pipe of a car. This device works under the Seebeck effect
and generates electricity by the difference in temperatures. Although we can't use the generator to fill up our hybrid
batteries, we can use one to produce about 30 percent of the electricity a car
needs when running. A new prototype, shown at "Thermoelektrik - Eine Chance Für Die Atomobillindustrie?" meeting, generated about 600W. In the Golf Plus model it was attached to, this energy generation managed to lower the car's fuel consumption by five percent. Not spectacular, but every little helps. When might we see such a device installed in cars? BMW said that it could be as soon as 2014.
[Source: Green Optimistic