The release added that, "the movement of electrons caused by friction was able to generate enough energy to power the lights, supporting the idea that energy lost to friction can actually be collected and reused."
Wang and his colleagues are not alone in their pursuit of energy via tires. Earlier this year Goodyear unveiled a concept tire at the Geneva Motor Show.
According to a video released by Goodyear, the tire is designed to produce electricity using a thermoelectric material that turns heat into electricity, and by using a piezoelectric material – a material that can generate an electrical charge when it is stretched or put under stress.
In terms of an environmental impact, there is solid potential of the research being conducted by Wang and his colleagues.
"It definitely can reduce the fuel consumption and improve the mileage, not by a lot, but by… 2 miles per gallon… something like this," Wang said.
Wang added that scaling up the technology poses its own challenges, especially about integrating the electrodes into a bigger car's tires.
"I think that, right now, it's a concept, but it's promising and I'm very positive (about) this technology's potential," he said.
By Anmar Frangoul, Special to CNBC.com; follow him on Twitter @AnmarFrangoul