The road to energy recovery: Business launches system that generates electricity from moving vehicles

An engineering company that pivoted its operations during the pandemic, has developed a road-based system that captures and harnesses energy from passing vehicles to generate green, clean power.

Leeds-based Rouute Technologies uses its road-based system to generate energy through motion, compression, and has now secured six-figure funding from NatWest to further develop the product.

The highly sustainable method of energy generation has no direct impact on the environment. It uses existing road infrastructure and only the movement of vehicles to generate power, which is then stored in a large-scale power storage system, providing completely off-grid electricity.

When installed on a single lane road width for two days, the system can generate enough electricity to power a house for an entire year or can power 206,000 smart mobile phones in a single day.

Rouute Technologies was previously an engineering consultancy firm. When lockdown was announced and business halted overnight, the company secured a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan from NatWest to continue operating.

The business’ Founder, Antony Edmondson-Bennett, decided to use the team’s downtime to develop this one-of-a-kind system that harvests and generates power, and has a 95% efficiency rating. The firm has also created a similar system that can be used on pavements, using footfall produced by pedestrians to generate power.

Antony said: “Like all businesses, we suffered quite a substantial drop in work when the pandemic struck. I’d been working on this system in the background for a while, so decided to use the time I was given during lockdown and invest it all in this. We developed quite a few prototypes before creating this one, which has a 95% efficiency rating.

“What sets our system apart from other renewable energy generation technology, is that ours has no direct impact on the eco system. There’s no need to dig out infrastructure to install our product – it uses what’s already there. Our system is made using recycled materials too, so everything is green.”

Rouute Technologies’ system is being piloted in Leeds in October this year and will be launching more widely in 2022.

Stewart Smith, Local Enterprise Manager at NatWest, said: “Antony is a true entrepreneur. His response to the business impact of lockdown was inspiring, and as a result he’s coming out of the pandemic with a world-class product that can completely change how we produce energy. Well done to him and his team – it’s great for NatWest to be supporting businesses like these.”

Gary Waller, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Rouute Technologies is quickly making itself a pioneer of renewable energy generation, and it’s great to watch the business grow in such a short space of time. I look forward to seeing where Antony can take this company next.”