Now that green is the new black, virtually the only start-ups getting cash are those devoted to alternative fuels such as wind, solar and biofuel research.

Washington-based Octillion has to be among the cheekiest - it wants to generate electric power not from natural sources like sunlight and tidal surges but by 'harvesting energy' from vehicles in motion.

Octillion's technology partner, Boston's Veryst, has developed a small-scale device that uses human motion to generate five-times greater power output per volume than conventional energy harvesting systems.

Veryst engineers are now working to develop Octillion's large-scale energy capture technologies which use the motion of passing cars and lorries to generate electricity.

Power crazed

"It's easy to foresee the benefits of using the movement of millions of cars, buses, trucks, trains and even rapid transit to generate electricity, through the installation of kinetic-power technologies at high-volume toll booths, border checkpoints, weigh scales, service stations, exit ramps and even restaurant drive-thru windows," explained Meetesh Patel, President and CEO of the Octillion Corporation.

"I'm eager to aggressively move Octillion's first-generation technologies along the product prototyping path," continues Patel. "As we progress towards commercialisation, these energy-capture devices represent a truly transformational technology for generating electricity in a brand new way."

Amazing, Meetesh! Although if you're looking for a really 'transformational' product, how about a device that cuts out all that unnecessary kinetic energy tech and simply syphons out unleaded petrol from cars waiting at traffic lights?