08.05.2016 - by Mary Kathryn Campbell
Can electric vehicles self-charge?

No. Energy conversions are never 100 percent efficient, so every time we convert one form of energy to another, we lose some of that energy. Hybrids and EVs recapture some of their energy back into the batteries through regenerative braking.

54 comments on “Can electric vehicles self-charge?”
  1. Ha33y says:

    This is something going round in my mind for years…I am not an electrical engineer, neither a physicist or mathematician, infact I know nothing at all about any of this, just a simple man with a simple thought. In my tiny mind,

    I cannot fathom why we cannot make a completely petrol-diesel free car that needs no plugin in, for recharging therefore limiting it’s mileage. After all, every moving part, wheels, pullies, chains, pistons, axles, valves, brakes..everything, is a source of energy. Simply put in my feeble mind, if they are moving parts, there must be a way to have their energy harnessed and send directly to the alternator/battery for on the move charging and regenerating. Even have a solar powered backup via windows or roof etc. Everything in that vehicle can be a source of sustainable power to be used to keep the vehicle charged up all the time. As I say, i know nothing about the technicalities of all this so please forgive my ignorance, but I refuse to believe this cannot be done in today’s technologically advanced world.

    A wheel under the sea can generate power using the waves of the water which in turn keep it turning and continue running indefinitely to generate electricity, crude comparison I know but in a similar way there simply has to be a way to get this done.

    I do not have a lot of money but would love to help with a few $£ and team up with a private wizard who works from home to come up with a solution. It will change the world, unless the big boys kill us first 🙂

  2. Curt Piper says:

    Basic Economics. Automobiles depend on Petroleum, and Petroleum is a major player in the world’s economy. Anything that threatens that income – like mass-market self-propelling vehicles – will not be allowed. It’s fine to produce these on a small scale, but once profits are affected then the gloves will come off. This is the same argument for tobacco products. They KILL people, yet we continue to grow crops and mass-market cigarettes to the ignorant, innocent, and apathetic.

    Economics 101 – Follow The Money…..

  3. James Dierickx says:

    This an example model 2013 Ford Focus E-Hatch has 6 alternators at 110 Amps high output at 30 Mph and above

    6 alternators x 14.5 Volt Output X 110 Amp Alternator = 9570 watts/hr
    road drag on wheel generator too much incline driving through hills and friction wear on the belts, bearings, pulleys ect. has lets say 1.2 times needed watts = aprox 12,000 watts. So really even though getting 9570 real drag equals 12, 000 watts conservatively. and inversely net gain of 9570 watts x 0.75 = 7177

    My car usually get 285 watts mile with air on, into the wind, and lights on, stereo full blast, on fairly even flat landscape of eastern Iowa.

    SO 30 Mph = 5280ft/2 / 60 min second = 44ft sec velocity 5280 ft a minute equals exactly 60 MPH .

    Kinetic energy = 1/2Mass X Velocity Squared in this case using old english system Mass X Ft sqared x Seconds squared = Foot Poundals and if you muliply by 0.0422 converts foot poundals to watts = 196 kw

    so 12kw/196kw = 0.061 or Drag on Kinetic energy system = 6.1% @ 30MPH

    7710 watts – (7710 X 0.061) = 7239 watts

    30 miles at 285 watts/mile = 8550 watts

    ratio of battery discharge 7239 watts – 8550 watts = -1311 watts an hour

    my ford focus has about 9,800 usable watts from bottom shutoff of 25% left in battery and top shut off when battery is 80% charged. would yeild 7.74 hours before i run out of electrons. 7.74 hours x 30 MPH = 224 miles estimate

    I am not getting something for nothing just making it more efficient capturing kinetic energy can be harnessed less work on batteries part. Just like return air. Hot air already heated get re-heated but the Delta T is smaller less work to heat it back up. Same here if we do not capture it as kinetic energy it will just dissipate as heat loss anyways.

    Not Perpetual Motion not over-unity just inefficiencies captured what already been paid for by the electrons in the batteries already. It worked in a Thermo- King REEFER Unit first experiment . Made a hybrid electric kit put it line with the diesel motor and connected the pulleys to 3 phase 20 HP motor and had a 24 kw wheel generator on it maybe 0.00025 drag at most. again the truck engine pulling it did the work we captured the kinetic energy harvested a very small portion.

    semi weighs fully loaded 80,000 Lbs x 60 mph = 40,000 lbs x 88 ft/sec x 88ft/sec = 309,760,000 foot poundals x 0.0422 Watt/foot poundal = 13,071,872 0r 13 MW Drag = 25Kw / 13 MW = 0.2% rounded up 0r 0.0019

    And to the non physicist like me Energy is defined as at any moment in time having the ability to do that much work if harnessed. Work = Force X Distance.

    Anyways that is how wheel generation of kinetic energy harvesting works.


  4. James Dierickx says:

    That gets me back to original post, yes it is possible to capture kinetic energy and harvest a small portion back into the system. I have done it first started out making an energy capture device to power 53 ft refrigerated trailer systems

    Alot of people get work and energy mixed up work is = Force X Distance and Energy is the given amount of work that could be done in any moment in time the ability to do work. Force – Mass X Acceleration.

    Later on by end of summer early fall Kinetic Energy K-Loop Range Extender estimate lead acid batteries be recharged 3-4 times before need to top off on power grid when K-Loop installed. So will be able to charge car 4 times to full lithium power from lead acid 4 times before 240VAC needs to top off charge both again.

    V 1.0 K-Loop Kinetic energy loop powered by my wheel generator patent. All covered by patent 8,723,344 https://www.google.com/patents/US8723344

    We need to make a few minor improvements but the link below will take you to a Facebook video showing how the K-Loop and our own electric motor drive-train that we are converting in this video a heavy duty 1998 Ford Explorer SUV The K=Loop powers the lead acid batteries which power the inverter. Please look at this link.


  5. James Dierickx says:

    Recharge Your Ride — Along The Roadside

    No Bullshit here is a local news article about my invention http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/local/recharging-your-ride

    Me2EV™ Will be showcasing our Me2= “ Mobile Electricity Everywhere” because that exactly what our L-Loop™ product allows any EV owner to do.

    Our internationally patent pending self charging EV system the L-Loop = “Local — Lithium Ion Lead Acid Power Loop” all self-contained into the EV now. Now the L-Loop™ system works this way in the hatchback and under body deep cycle lead acid batteries are installed.

    System exports 240 VAC and or as of June 1, 2017 DC/DC 480 V DC Fast Charging into EV. The customer pushes a button pulls out 1772 Cord out of bumper or Fast DC CHAdeMO, CCS, SAE Combo, Tesla Supercharger Cord. And plugs the cord into EV Power Port.

    Making Kits currently for 2012 & newer Ford Focus E-Hatch. Will be making kits for most BEV Models Chevy Volt & Bolt, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Tesla.
    We will also be showing our Me2 Power™ Self Service Charging Hardware Around 1/8 th the cost of normal 50 AMP Level 2 Public Chargers. So now you can deploy 8 units of Me2 Power™ for the same money making charging infrastructure more sustainable.

    Visit http://www.Me2EV.com

    Now you might think that lead old school heavy but cost per charge density is 20 to 1 less expensive on a good day, no thermal discharge runaway moments, and no fancy over complicated Lithium battery charging systems.

    And no FMV 305 issues either since all our systems dc battery under 48 V DC. But the biggest reason for using lead is, its more dense takes less volume. Even if I wanted to double the Lithium Battery Capacity to say about 15.5 kW usable power on 2013 Focus you need double the batteries cannot fit that many on my car stacked up to as many bricks as they can possibly fit maybe room for 20% more but not all this.

    I am an Army Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. And oil and our oil addiction nearly killed me as a young man of 22 years old. Now I have 4 sons of my own 16-24 and that keeps me up at night. The thought they may have to go over there and defend some country that we made an agreement with for steady oil prices. I have a TBI / Severe PTSD from my time there. And the only time that PTSD symptoms are gone when I get in my makers space. Defund Oil — Realy — Defunds Terrorism. I want to help with everything in me.

  6. Willie Milne says:

    Toyota have had “Hybrids” for years I know of a taxi driver who has done over 100,000 miles without a hiccup same batts (2) so if Toyota can do this without having to plug into mains what is the problem???

  7. Anil Sharma says:

    Simple mechanical watch self winding works years together .Is it possible to have similar mechanical charging on this electronic charging coupled to the alternator

  8. Anil Sharma says:

    Let us have a module on this site and try to run our car with our inputs what ever we experience success and failures would be worth an experience A

    1. James Dierickx says:

      OK I’m game got worked to proof concept proven out already I say it works. Patented process already built here in Iowa.

  9. Marty McFly says:

    the quest is not to defy the law of thermo dynamics but the design a vehicle that can drive beyond our relative physical ability…meaning say 500 miles at a pop. So if you do 350 miles per day you’d in theory never run out of electricity even though you would if pushed beyond 500 miles. I think the potential cure is rotational batteries in which the motor draws from a cycle of 4 to 6 while the one is supplying the motor the others are being regenerated via the other 3 wheels, solar, wind, Flux Capacitor and when the power battery drops to 40% the cycle jumps to another battery currently at 100% and so on…again at some point in the journey you’ll deplete the batteries….but its a chasing game as opposed to a dilemma in solving a law of nature. However if we could simply solve the riddle of “Hamlet’s Mill” (gravity) it wouldn’t matter.

    1. John says:

      Exactly. Every time the idea of a self-charging electric car is mentioned, all of the “look at me! I’m so smart” detractors immediately go on a rant about the laws of thermo dynamics and the impossibility of perpetual motion. If they could shelve their hubris long enough to open their minds and actually read and think, they may realize that’s not the goal and jump on board. We are not looking at cars that can run forever and never need to plug in, but rather cars with an extended range that makes them a viable choice for the fast majority of people, and that takes less electrical consumption from the nations electrical grid so that a nation full of EV cars is not actually producing more pollutants than their petro fueled counterparts. What about multiple power generation devices in a vehicle? Perhaps four very low-drag, brushless generators, one built into each wheel assembly, sending power back to the batteries that power the electric motor propelling the car — not just during brakig regeration, because their brushless design creates miniscule drag. Perhap super conductors rather than bateries (there has been some great gains in technology regulate the output from a super capacitor). Or, maybe some type of super conductor/battery hybrid. Solor panel roof and deck lids to collect a small charge to help power things like the lights, stereo, or charging a cell phone. Small wind turbines behind the grill or other body scoops to throw just a little more into the mix. A new technologies look for ways to quick charge when you do need to plug in (super capcitors). A tesla can go around 300-350 on a charge. What if that was extended to 1,000 miles. A Nissan Leaf can get around 100 miles and needs to charge all night. Basically only good for a commute to work and back in the city and suburbs car. What if a vehicle like that could get 400-450 miles, and have a rapid charge time when it does need to “gas up”. Then it becomes a viable family car that could even do a road trip for a get away weekend. Or for those that have kids in club sports, all of the games and tournaments in neighboring states. I think a 1,000 mile, 5-person, comfortable family EV. Is very possible right now. But the powers to be would lose billions of dollars every year and that it what keeps such ideas from coming to fruition.

      1. James Dierickx says:

        I totally agree with you. Im glad also they are closed minded as people who at 1 time thought the earth was flat. I have been low key for years now we are going to market aftermarket kits first on my kinetic and hybrid battery range extenders. Nobody ever heard of this before but within 3-4 weeks it will be known everywhere. I have it installed on my 2013 Ford Focus

  10. Dennis muturi says:

    My idea uses the all four tires. Basically I use the tire the same way a dynamo use the rotation of a bicycle. I recently come upon new tech called nanomotors which would be efficient in my concept if it works cars would go for infinite miles on electricity

  11. Billy C. says:

    I don’t know too much about how it all works. But, I am curious as to whether there could be two units. One unit with the initial charge being distributed to the other unit that becomes a “holding tank” until the firat unit is empty. Then, the second unit does the same thing but returning the energy to the first unit. And, visa versa. My thought is that it both units are generators. Although, as I have read, the energy is not 100% tranferrable – I still wonder if it could be done in a way like a larger wheel would spin a smaller wheel more revolutions so that the smaller wheel would be generating more energy. But, that is just my thought. I believe it is still possible to create perpetual energy through motion.

  12. Tlag Nhoj says:

    There was a time, not too long ago that “billion dollar corporations who do not want someone taking their profits away will find a way to stop it”. However, just about every car company out there is, or will be, are making vehicles using alternative sources of energy. Why! because oil is finite (even the oil industry knows this), and destructive, and none of those billion dollar corporations wants to be left holding on to old technology when the alternative becomes the mainstream.

    No offense to Nobel Walt above, but there are, and have been those who step out of the box and challenge big corporations and conventional wisdom like Elon Musk with PayPal, Solar City, Space-X, and yes Tesla Motors. Keep in mind, corporations only hold power as long as they are viable. However, each still pray to the same “god” – PROFITS, and when they are no longer giving their shareholders what they want, they will cease to exist. The ones that survive, will have innovated and given their customers what they want. Change is inevitable, and those who are not afraid to embrace it and are willing to accept the risk, will be greatly rewarded.

  13. Aksteve says:

    I’ve been thinking of a similar, but different approach. Rather than using the four spinning tires as generators, has anyone considered building a system of ductwork at the front of the vehicle that can be used to spin a screw/scroll type turbine to generate additional electricity? Of course it would create an additional drag on the aerodynamics of the car. What do you think?

  14. Nobel Walt says:

    Faraday’s principle is the way to go. Although you might not get 100% mile to mile recharge it will dramatically increase the total distance you can travel. I’d say the real problem with this is not the functionality and feasibility but rather the companies out there who will squash you. Your talking about billion dollar corporations who do not want someone taking their profits away and will find a way to stop it. I know that the Faraday principle will work and in result will help people save money and help the environment. The only problem I see is the corporations who are not to be taken lightly… Anyone else agree that this is the main problem?

  15. Nivrag says:

    I think S Roopesh is getting close to the solution. Make the wheels a generator as well. Getting 4 generators to a summing controller then feeding that back to charge the battery is feasible.
    Remember, extending the driving distance is the objective.

  16. Andrew Mungai says:

    Laws of Thermodynamics. Energy can never be created or destroyed, it is only converted. Although the ratio of energy output to energy input is always unity, or 100%, the issue is USEFUL ENERGY. For any energy conversion device, we always tend to lose some to a form that is not usable for the purpose at hand. All cars charge batteries, but the stored power can never be adequate to run the car. Similarly a hydro-electric generator cannot pump adequate water uphill to run itself.

    1. Dennis muturi says:

      The energy generated by the tires shouldn’t be stored it should be used as it is being produced. When the battery is full the energy is stored as the new energy being created is used. A driver can decided when to switch to the energy created ie when the battery is full

  17. Norman NG says:

    Anyone trying to use magneto forces to power the vehicles and then expecting it to power an alternator to charge a battery is going up the wrong path. No matter how such arrangement will not be 100% efficient due to air-gap loses and the magnetic flux induced in the alternator might also caused a drag due to opposing magnetic flux generated.

    There are other approaches that make used of the kinetics/inertia to generate electricity when the wheels are in motion without introducing additional loading or being a drag. I am working on one of this approach and its guaranteed to work.

    However whether it can reproduce 100% or more than 100% of the power needed to move the vehicles or not, I am not sure. I believe even if it is 50%-80% it is good enough as it can extend the operating hours of the vehicle i.e. the range of a vehicle with existing battery pack with a range of 600km can now go beyond 1000km before the next charge.

    1. Norman NG says:

      Anyone interested to explore this can email me at stng936@gmail.com

  18. Adnan says:

    I have an idea regarding self-charge of cars. I have amost finished engineering parts of design And also the method gives very good and sinosidual current to motor.
    I using new concept and controlling method of power electronic for self-charging of car. does anyone knows that tesla can suport idea or not?

  19. S Roopesh says:

    Hi myself is Roopesh working in an automotive company, I have an idea that if we use a coil and magnet arrangement on the each wheel of the vehicle, according to the Faraday’s law to generate emf continuously and the generated emf will be transferred via mutual induction principle from one coil to another coil, the another i.e the secondary coil will be placed inline with the primary coil without having physical contact, as direct contact on the wheels reduces inertia and increases load. So this arrangement will charge the battery in both the conditions i.e in normal driving as well in braking i.e. regenerative braking, Please correct me if I am wrong in my idea.

    1. Shelly says:

      I was thinking this could logically be done and was wanting to ask someone if it could be done. Have you made any progress making it happen?

  20. P. Zahedi says:

    why can’t we add some other electricity produced system same as using solar cell or something which collect and change the heat of solar given to some closed loop water system in cars to duplicate the power and electricity produce by this system to fulfill the lose of electricity happened in regenerating braking?

  21. Matthew Hardy says:

    Ryan, you’ll be waiting a long time for Tesla to get back to you on an idea that violates the laws of physics.

  22. Maurice W. Raynor, from R. P. E. M. says:

    Try my car.

  23. Maurice W. Raynor, from R. P. E. M. says:

    My car can.

  24. Jack Cain says:

    Many of these idea can work, however the purveyors of oil and energy sources do not want you to be making energy independently, forever. The efficiency of solar panels is increasing dramtically over the last decade and soon a smaller panel will put out enough energy to charge your car while it sits in the parking lot at work. Or better yet, covered parking at work will provide the solar panels that charge every car in the lot. The future is bright because this technology exists right now.

  25. Ryan Chavez says:

    I have an idea of how to recharge using the apparent air flow as well. Waiting on Tesla Motor Company to get back to me. Even Tesla himself mentioned that it is 98% efficient. So… nice ideas here too! If anyone wants to hear it, post more or email me. LoL… I guarantee this will work.

    1. amanj says:

      Ryan Chaves,
      It is appreciated if you can get in touch with me and exchange the ideas as I have also an idea about 100% self supply electric car.

    2. Matthew Hardy says:

      At 98% efficiency, there is a 2% loss, which makes the system pointless. It would have to be above 100% for this to work, which is impossible.

      1. James Dierickx says:

        I’m not sure if I follow your logic? If 100% is the power in the batteries propelling ev ? Then that is no different than gas, coal, hydrogen, ect it was supplied externally , so if even 20% efficiency would be mileage (Y) x by 1.2 since you were able to capture harvest harness 20%. No different than alternator on gas car powered by motor asking 1,600 kw that don’t stall the car out, does it, still runs out of gas the same way externally powered electric batteries run out too.

        you are correct in self powering wont work net loss in internal system, but externally powered systems can capture inefficiencies along the way. Another thing look how long it takes a freight train to stop that is kinetic energy in action sometimes takes 1.5 miles to stop, now if I capture fractionally the power say under 1% of stored energy in freight train outside energy again powered it diesel to electric power the work has already been paid for, just converting that energy back to electricity before friction heat loss like it does. miv1 = m2v2 still apllies maybe slows done system by 0.000003 ft/sec negligible. In a few weeks going to release my research about our range enhancement .

        1. James Dierickx says:

          Sorry wrote, “gas car powered by motor asking 1,600 kw that don’t stall the car out, does it,”

          meant 1,600 watts doesn’t make much difference.

          Even 1,600 watts gets me an additional 8 miles @ 200 watts mile so 2-3 alternators could give me 24 miles extra range. Not bad when I get under 60 miles at highway speeds that would increase it 84 by just this.

  26. Keith Edwards says:

    Can some sort of magnetic induction or a hub/direct contact dynamo be used to charge the battery power source, or back up battery, while the vehicle is in motion? BTW…I think this is a great discussion thread. Thank you.

  27. Sal says:

    mclaren p1 has solar panels on the roof, built in generator much like prius, brakes recharge batteries. I think the issues is that it take more energy to move a car at usable speed; then we can gain and store. It only goes like 50 miles, which is good at a usable speed.

    Good thing about that can is once batteries are dead you just turn on the gas v8 and use everything at once… like 900 hp. We need a way to harness the full potential of the sun. solar panels are like 20-24 % efficient and does not store uv.

  28. Matthew Hardy says:

    Folks, no, none of these ideas will work. If it were so simple, vehicles would have these systems you describe. Let’s simplify the whole thing…take the vehicle out of the equation: How about a battery, powering a motor. The motor turns a generator which recharges the battery. If this worked, we would have achieved perpetual motion, which is impossible.

    1. Sam says:

      Its possible we just aren’t trying hard enough

    2. Nate says:

      Bs bs bs!!! It is posible!!! Gas companies are just trying to control electric car industries
      As simple as putting a controlled dinamo system and a split pack of batteries, first set starts running out automatic switch connects to the other one wile the dinamo system charges the other and so.
      No need to have such tons of batteries, a good design of volt amplifiers and a good set of capacitors can do the job.
      And it can all star with a simple magnetic field on the weels.
      Greed is the only obstacle!!!

      1. Shelly says:

        Nate can you create one. Make since in combination with kinetic engery.

    3. Dennis muturi says:

      My concept is similar to yours it can achieve perpetual motion this could mean endless energy

    4. James Dierickx says:

      In a kinetic energy system think of kinetic energy capture as a horizontal flywheel. the externally powered motor is the generator the vehicle speed and weight is the battery. Just like in ag equipment if there were no flywheel on a corn grinder, if it were directly coupled to the engine pto, it would stall the tractor within 1 revolution . Why? Because the tractor kinetic energy generator and flywheel kinetic energy battery , that why flywheels are used to store energy too. And that exactly what it does when you capture it from whole system.

      Just like in research proved that weight drag on loaded semi isn’t a linear relation pound per pound. An empty semi weighs around 34,000 lbs and gets 5.5 mpg for simplicity sake and 80,000 lbs fully loaded so for 46,000 of hauling weight it gets 5.4 mpg only 0.1 mpg difference. why because once it gets up to speed takes so much less energy to maintain velocity momentum carrying it forward and that is what I tapped into. In a few weeks there are those that are going to say, ” wow this was so simple why hadn’t anyone done this before it been under our feet the whole time the road and kinetic energy capture.”

  29. Bob A says:

    If a wind mill with a electric generator that turns slow and has big output of electric because of the gearing , they can build a generator connected to back wheels of electric car gear the generator slow turns big output. Electric car with 24 kw battery pack, when electric motor turns car generator runs electric motor and recharges battery pack. If you can run a house with portable generator you can run a electric car and charge it up with right generator and gearing of generator.and use reg braking also. If you can drive a Chevy Volt that has a hold the battery, charge the battery up and you have 50 miles on charge on the car, and you hold that mileage to where you are driving to. The cars generator built into car puts electric in to running electric motor but you never lose a mile on battery pack, Then put a different generator in car our the computer control. it has to be gas company, making the auto companys not to make a electric car that will run its self.. It can be done with right gearing of generator and right generator and battery pack computer control.. know someone show me different.

  30. Matirangana says:

    If an alternator is fitted in the car between either of the drive train, can they create a rotation that can turn th alternator to charge the battery?

  31. Chris says:

    Turbines are basically just turning objects that create electricity. So, while a car is moving, aren’t there at least 4 turbines turning constantly? Why can’t we just capture the kinetic energy of the turning wheel and convert that to electricity that is sent right back to the wheel for acceleration? Is it not enough? Do we not know how?

    1. Danny says:

      Because the opep don’t want to

      1. Sam says:

        Exactly it should make sence I’m gone bet someone will figure it out

    2. Tony says:

      I was thinking the same thing, why can’t they use the back wheel to generate a battery charge while the front wheels draw power? I’m sure there’s some reason why they don’t but it seems like a waste not too.

  32. MATTHEW HARDY says:

    All hybrid and electric vehicles are equipped with a regenerative braking system. On deceleration or braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, which slows the vehicle. Kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy which is stored in the battery. Regeneration only works when slowing down, braking, or going downhill. Regeneration cannot be employed while accelerating or cruising at a constant speed.

    1. Colin Michael Longworth says:

      Surely a generator could be fitted powered by a trailing wheel.

  33. robert wade says:

    Above it answers that energy conversions are never 100% efficient….but how efficient are they?
    What auto companies are trying to regenerate their own electricity through wheel motion?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Its certainly possible, but if the electric car were charging while being pulled in such a manner, the energy being put into the battery would essentially be coming from an increased load on the pull car.

  35. Bill wildman says:

    We pul a car behind our coach. Why can’t the wheels in motion charge an electric car so it is ready to go when we park the coach

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