While fast-food chains aren't known for being particularly green, we're starting to see small previews of what might eventually be a more sustainable industry. Sure, links to factory farming and selling meat will never earn them stars from environmentalists, but how the physical storefronts evolve to embrace green technologies will definitely turn heads.

Take for instance a new experiment of sorts happening at a Burger King drive-thru in New Jersey. The chain has partnered with a company called New Energy to install its MotionPower technology that takes advantage of a car's weight to generate electricity -- apparently by driving over a series of plates that angle up out of the road surface. (A great demonstration of the concept is available here.)

"It's very exciting to be involved in the early testing and development of a brand new technology designed to generate electricity from the motion of vehicles. More than 150,000 cars drive through our Hillside (Burger King) 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," stated Andrew Paterno, owner of the New Jersey location.

In their press release, New Energy believes their technology could easily be 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 Burger King test site.

Check out the full press release over on Autobloggreen.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Burger King testing energy generation from drive-thru
Now you can offset the guilt of buying fast food with the gift of clean energy.