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.

43 comments on “Can electric vehicles self-charge?”
  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

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

    Try my car.

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

    My car can.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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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