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Published on July 7th, 2009 | by Timothy B. Hurst


Burger King to Harness Kinetic Energy from Speed Bumps

July 7th, 2009 by  

burger king drive thru

Stopping for cheeseburgers to bring new energy to New Jersey drive-thru

On the same day that Coulomb Technologies announced it would be rolling out an electric vehicle charging station at a McDonald’s in Cary, N.C., a Burger King franchise in New Jersey said it would be testing speed bumps that harness kinetic energy in the location’s busy drive-thru lane.


If the kinetic energy generated by moving vehicles was captured by New Energy Technology’s MotionPower speed bumps twice per day, then it could produce enough electricity to power over half a million homes each day, according to company officials.

The technology is similar to the regenerative technology used to power hybrid cars, but instead of being installed in each vehicle, it is installed in the roadways, capturing the friction energy that is otherwise dissipated as heat.

“More than 150,000 cars drive through our Hillside store alone each year, and I think it would be great to capture the wasted kinetic energy of these hundreds of thousands of cars to generate clean electricity,” said Andrew Paterno. Paterno and his business partner, Michael Wallstein own and operate twelve Burger Kings in the New York Metro area.

New Energy’s latest MotionPower prototype is a modular device which can be customized to varying lengths based on site requirements. Engineers envision the device could being installed at high traffic locations such as toll booths, traffic intersections, rest areas, travel plazas, border crossings, neighborhoods with traffic calming zones, and drive-thrus similar to the New Jersey Burger King test site.

“We’re eager to field test the device in a real world setting as part of our ongoing efforts to aggressively engineer, test, refine, and ultimately, commercially launch America’s first active roadway energy capture system of its kind,” explained Mr. Meetesh V. Patel, Esq., President and CEO of New Energy Technologies, Inc.

New Energy Technologies is not the first to field-test the energy-harnessing capacity of speed bumps. Similar pilot projects are already being tested on roads and in supermarket parking lots in the U.K.

Twenty percent of methane emissions in the United States comes from bovine husbandry. And while burger giants McDonald’s and Burger King are not falling over themselves to slash beef production, some franchise owners are taking matters into their own hands to cut greenhouse gas emissions in other innovative ways.

Investors welcomed the Monday announcement. Shares of New Energy Technologies, Inc. (NENE.OB) rose more than 27% on Monday after news of the new prototype testing project in New Jersey.

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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

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