A new means of recycling the exhaust heat from cars into electricity is being considered by the engineers of Cardiff University.
Professor Mike Rowe of the OBE School of Engineering believes that thermoelectric generation may help reduce fuel consumption.
"The main interest in cars is to decrease the petrol consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. If you can utilise the exhaust heat you could replace the alternator. This would provide a five per cent saving in fuel straightaway," the Environmental News Network quoted him as saying.
Vehicle manufacturers in the US are taking a lot of interest in exploring the conversion technology, says the researcher.
Professor Rowe, however, believes that the technology has failed to generate wide interest among UK researchers.
"Thermoelectric generation is a green solution. It can in many instances cost less than solar energy. It has huge future potential yet it has been neglected to date in the UK," he said.