Many efforts are being made to reduce the environmental impact of cars, but what about the tires on which these cars are driven? Continental thinks it might help. Roadshow reports that the company has introduced the Conti GreenConcept (yes, a concept tire) where more than half of the material is “traceable, renewable and recycled”. You can even renew the tread from natural rubber with little problems – it’s not a whole new idea, but refreshing treads are generally reserved for large commercial trucks. Three renovations would be enough to halve the material used for the housing in relation to the total mileage.
About 35 percent of the material is renewable, including dandelion, silicate made from rice husk ash, and a variety of vegetable oils and resins. Another 17 percent is made of polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles, recycled steel and remanufactured carbon black.
The design should improve the efficiency of the cars themselves, Continental added. The new body, sidewall and tread patterns make the GreenConcept about 40 percent lighter than conventional 16.5kg tires, which in turn results in 25 percent less rolling resistance than the EU’s highest rated tires. Continental estimates that you will get a six percent longer range from an electric vehicle.
While you may not be equipping your car with these tires any time soon, this is more than just a thought exercise. Continental plans to gradually apply its recycling technology from 2022, including the production of tires from recycled bottles.
Efforts such as the Conti GreenConcept are in part aimed at strengthening Continental’s public image. It wants to become the most environmentally responsible company for the production of tires by 2030, and to become carbon neutral by 2050 “at the latest”. However, it also hints at a holistic approach to environmentally friendly cars in which many components, not just powertrains, are kinder to the planet.
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