We often hear of car manufacturers stepping up to the plate when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint, including the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles. But what about the vehicle’s major component – tires?
Thankfully many tire manufacturers are jumping on board, producing tires that are less harmful to the environment with reduced friction and increased fuel efficiency. Not only that, but they’re also changing the way they do things in their warehouse.
Features of an eco-friendly tire include:
- Concealed grooves that emerge as the tire’s treat deteriorates
- Light and aerodynamic design
- Recycled material
- Reduced fuel consumption
- Fuel efficiency
In the creation of eco-friendly tires, there are two key components: tire materials and responsible manufacturing.
Eco-friendly tires are made with raw material. Many car companies are replacing rubber with a synthetic blend that includes silica (often sourced from rice husk). This is not only used to replace the rubber in the treads, but it also reduces rolling resistance, which in turn, reduces the amount of energy lost as the tire hits the road. The more friction a vehicle has when it hits the road, the more power it needs. Less rolling resistance means less output. This conserving of energy also helps to reduce the amount of fuel used, with low resistance tires lowering fuel consumption by up to 3%. It might not seem like a lot, but essentially the more fuel-efficient your vehicle, the lower your CO2 emissions and carbon footprint.
Previously, tires that had low rolling resistance also had bad traction and grip on the road, but with new technologies, this has changed. Tire manufacturers and other companies are exploring options of airless tires, 3D printed tires and one company in Germany, Continental, is even working on a rubber replacement made from plants.
There are a number of ways in which responsible manufacturing can come into play for more eco-friendly tires. Manufacturing facilities often use an abundance of energy, however, many companies today are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.
The use of renewable energy (solar or wind power) instead of electricity is a start, as well as using recycled water. Energy-efficient lighting can also play a part, and manufacturers who regularly upgrade their equipment will also lower their emissions. The older the machinery, the less efficient it is.
Well-known eco-friendly tire brands include Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Yokohama and Hankook; and big manufacturers are working consistently on new methods of tire manufacture. If you want to know more about recycled tires or to explore your options, get in touch with our experienced team today. We’d be more than happy to assist.