Originally Posted by Tommycat
edited to add: Interesting thing I heard on one of the "Future is beautiful" type shows was a GM exec saying that it is even possible that, when they get the design down, that you could literally plug your car into you house to power the house. This would cut down on energy drain on the grid which in some areas is already overtaxed(*looks at CA*).
The idea behind this reminds me of piezoelectric tiles, which is one of the sweetest technologies I've witnessed in the past 5 years or so.
Basically, these are tiles that convert mechanical energy into electricity (30 Watts per tile or something around that, iirc). I saw this snap in the papers that showed a demonstration tile in a public sidewalk over in Japan.
It's a very promising technology, and based on the general idea that human mechanical energy is largely wasted and can instead, be used to power electricity. I also remember seeing on a Discovery show this Spanish or Mexican gym that was entirely powered by the energy exerted by its members during workouts.