The winner of this year’s Pilkington Vehicle Design Award has created a self-sustaining car concept that can power itself without any external fuelling.
The concept, which is called Thrive and has been badged as a Peugeot, uses piezoelectric materials (materials that can create energy when compressed) to create an electric charge when it is placed under mechanical pressure.
The result means the car can generate energy using rain, wind or sunlight, negating the need for an external input of fuel or charging.
Thrive’s designer, Royal College of Art student Patrick Carton, chose to add hydrophobic-coated glass (which repels water molecules) to feed a rain-powered turbine, in turn boosting the vehicle’s electric charge.
Thrive was chosen as the winner by the award’s expert judges, which included key industry designers such as Audi’s head of design concepts, Klemens Rossnagel, and Earl Beckles from Jaguar Land Rover.
The judges commended the winning concept, along with many others produced by the RCA students.
One judge, Mike Greenall, director of automotive R&D programmes at NSG, added: “It’s so encouraging to see how these young designers are pushing the boundaries of innovation. The next decade represents a pivotal time for the automotive industry, with new technology and sustainability concerns likely to exert a significant influence on industry trends.