Peugeot billboards can charge cars... With noise

It sounds like something from Back to the Future, but it’s well and truly Here in the Present.

37w ago


On the surface, it seems that the introduction of electric technology in vehicles may have saved the industry. However, most of us now know that this just pushes the problem of global warming further down the line. In fact, the electricity that goes into electric cars isn’t the cleanest thing to produce. Not the way it’s currently made that is.

The majority of our electricity still comes from nuclear power plants, and even from burning fossil fuels in some cases. In coming years, this is set to change slightly with wind turbine and solar panel efficiency on the rise, but any significant reduction in the motoring industry’s impact on the environment is years away if we stay on the same path.

With that in mind, Peugeot has teamed up with French advertising agency, BETC to create some rather original billboards. Not only do the placards help Peugeot sell more cars, they also keep their customers’ electric cars on the road.


Thanks to thousands of acoustic sensors with piezoelectric properties, the posters generate electricity from the colossal level of noise that is produced by large cities. Piezo-electricity simply means that as a certain material is deformed, it generates an electrical that can be harvested. The extreme vibrations that can be caused by sound in some cities is enough to put this theory into practice.

The sound waves are absorbed by the slight flex in the billboard which is enough to generate electricity from the acoustic sensors.

The technology is still in the early stages of its development. However, the two companies were confident enough to show it off at the end of October in Paris. A set of the billboards were set up at Porte Maillot.

Although, the idea is a long way from being able to charge vehicles at the same rate as mains electricity, it’s nice to see a large group taking the initiative.

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Comments (19)

  • Do you think they could make a car that I could recharge by shouting at it?

      8 months ago
  • Fantastic idea

    But electric cars are silent so for now great but in the future all electric no noise =no electric 😂 😂 😂

      8 months ago
    • There are other noise sources than cars. Think of just the amount of chatter you get.

        8 months ago
  • "The majority of our electricity still comes from nuclear power plants"

    You are talking about France, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary.

    And Hungary only has a shade of over 50% nuclear.

    To give this idea some perspective, say you need a 100 kW charging power, then you will need to park a turboject engine next to the billboard.

    A Saturn 5 rocket could charge 100,000 Teslas, as long as it was burning nearby, for an hour.

    They may look a bit black at the end.

      8 months ago
    • Yes, but this is a way to avoid burning things to charge cars. Having Saturn 5 rockets on every street corner isn't much of an improvement, is it?

        8 months ago
    • The point I was making is, there is very little usable power in sound energy.

      To quote the end of the Flanders and Swan song, "that's entropy man".

        8 months ago
  • Good news! You can charge your Peugeot from a billboard - Bad News! You've got a Peugeot.

      8 months ago
  • Have a mental breakdown 4 times in a week and suddenly this isn't a bad idea.

    Also useful if you're particular of road rage

      8 months ago