When purchasing tyres, we consider cost, weather performance and durability. But environmental pollution? Maybe not so much…
There hasn’t been a farm-to-freeway movement yet, but tires play an important role in the health of our planet.
However, rolling resistance, noise pollution, raw materials and manufacturing processes all affect how “green” your tires are.
How does rolling resistance affect fuel consumption and range of electric vehicles?
If you’ve recently bought tires, you may have used an app to find cheap tires.
While shopping by price is easy, many people don’t research rolling resistance. You don’t have to understand the complex physics of rolling resistance to see how it can save you money.
Rolling resistance is the force that keeps your tires moving. For this reason, it’s an inverse relationship: lower rolling resistance equates to better fuel economy for internal combustion engines and longer range for electric vehicles.
1. Bridgestone Ecopias: save fuel and give something back
Made from recycled rubber and with low rolling resistance, Bridgestone Ecotopias are worth considering if both fuel economy and environmental sustainability are important to you. bridge stone also supports numerous environmental initiatives.
2. Firestone Fuel Champions
Firestone Champion’s Fuel Fighter™ technology has low rolling resistance and a 70,000 mile guarantee, making it a great choice for those on a budget looking to help the planet.
3. Pirelli Scorpion Verdes
In addition to low rolling resistance, these tires feature the Pirelli Noise Canceling System™, which relies on sponges to reduce noise by two to three decibels.
Alongside the luxury of a smooth ride, why is this important for the environment?
tires and noise pollution
Although we are looking for the best noise canceling earphones, we often forget to consider the environmental damage caused by noise pollution, such as: B. the disruption of echolocation of marine animals.
4. Tires with Michelin acoustic technology
Noise also harms people. We’ve all heard obnoxiously loud car exhausts, but tires make up about half of vehicle-related noise. When tires roll, air gets trapped between the grooves in the tread and the road. When this compressed air is released, it generates noise.
5. Pirelli’s Cinturato P7
If you live somewhere warm, Pirelli’s Cinturato P7 combines noise reduction and runflat technology. This makes these tires an eco-friendly choice for anyone worried about a flat tyre. In addition, it is a good choice for ultra-high-performance summer tires for electric vehicles.
Which tires are made with sustainable manufacturing processes?
While it’s easy to find apps to reduce our carbon footprint, figuring out which tires are made with the environment in mind can be difficult. Here are two more tires committed to green manufacturing.
6. Yokohama Blue Earth
The BluEarth tire series has a little bit of everything: light, noise-reducing and manufacturing processes to reduce CO2 emissions. With its biodiversity, Yokohama is also committed to preserving regional biodiversity Forever forest tree planting project.
7. Good year
Goodyear’s new ElectricDrive GT product line, specifically designed for electric vehicles, will offer a combination of smoothness, low rolling resistance and a reduced carbon footprint. Electric vehicles need different tires because they have higher torque and have to support the weight of the battery.
Goodyear aims to make tires from 100% sustainable raw materials by 2030.
Sustainable tires start with raw materials
When tires come into contact with the road, they wear down, leaving behind tiny micro-plastic particles. A study on the tire wear found that these particles contribute to 5-10% of the plastic in the ocean.
In addition to the production of microplastics, raw materials in tires contribute to unsustainable forestry.
That’s because about half of a typical tire is made of rubber: 20% natural rubber and 25% synthetic. The rest is made up of metals, fabrics and other compounds.
Natural rubber is an organic polymer derived from rubber trees in the form of latex. Rubber trees only thrive in certain geographic regions called the “Rubber Belt” because they surround the equator. Most natural rubber is harvested in Southeast Asia. Thailand alone accounts for about 35% of global supply.
Rubber’s popularity in many industries has led to mass deforestation and biodiversity loss as rubber tree farms crowd out natural landscapes. That’s why researchers are looking for new materials for tires that cause less damage to the environment.
Unfortunately, synthetic rubber is not a good alternative. Synthetic rubber comes from petroleum by-products. It takes about 7 gallons of oil to craft a car tire and 22 gallons to craft a truck tire.
Other natural materials can help us reduce our reliance on rubber in the future.
Tires made from desert plants: Bridgestone Guayule tires
Guayule (pronounced gwah-YOO-lee) is a desert plant that could become a popular rubber alternative as it can be grown in the arid regions of North America.
Because desert life is sparse, the negative effects on local ecosystems are not as damaging as clearing a lush rainforest. Bridgestone is currently researching how to grow and harvest guayule for practical commercial use, and Firestone (owned by Bridgestone) showcased guayule tires at the 2022 Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge (it’s the green sidewall tires in the video below).
Continental is researching Russian dandelions
Continental is preparing to incorporate rubber derived from dandelion into its tires. Ready to harvest in one year (as opposed to seven for a rubber tree), Russian dandelion can be grown in areas inhospitable to most crops.
Although not every species of dandelion is suitable for tire production, the Russian variety can be grown in parts of Europe and North America. Local sourcing reduces the need to transport rubber around the globe and reduces carbon emissions. Dandelions are also an important food source for pollinators, making this a win-win situation.
Can tires really be “green”?
While best practices like keeping your tire pressure at the optimal level to maximize fuel economy or range apply to all tires, you can help the environment by buying eco-friendly tires. While sustainability claims are sometimes little more than corporate greenwashing, certain tires are more environmentally friendly than others.
Rolling around on eco-friendly tires means reducing deforestation, lower CO2 emissions, supporting sustainable production, reduced noise pollution and money savings.
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