What if something as simple as a shock absorber could do much more than just absorb the impacts coming from the road? What if the shock could save fuel, charge batteries and even move vehicles down the road? Wouldn't you be interested? We certainly are.

The idea of transferring road impact into energy is not a new one, but this shock is certainly a stand-out. Developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology students Zack Anderson and Shakeel Avadhany, the GenShock combines the elements of a shock and the ability of a generator into a single package.

Foregoing the complexities, here's what the GenShock made by Levant Power can do. By retaining the energy created from and usually lost through normal shock motions, the shocks can be used to help power various vehicle components. On a traditional vehicle, the stored energy could charge the battery, eliminating the need for an alternator or the energy could power systems like the radio or headlights.

On a hybrid vehicle, the GenShock could send energy to the battery packs, extending the electric range and freeing the engine from some battery charging duties. Here's where the real excitement comes in. On a battery electric vehicle, the shocks could act as gas-free range extenders!

The GenShock is currently enduring testing in a Humvee. After 18 months of of successful testing, the breakthrough shock should be ready for marketing. It's high cost may be prohibitive for passenger vehicles, but the initial market is seen as military usage and transport vehicles. If demand is strong and technological advancements allow, costs could drop considerably and the usages described above could become feasible.

Question: Why don't you plug in your EV at night? Answer: My shocks charge my car, don't yours?

[Source: Green Car Advisor]