In pursuit of reducing the environmental impact of motoring, German tyre manufacturer Continental has unveiled Conti GreenConcept, tyres made from sustainable materials such as dandelions and recycled plastic bottles.
According to the company, its goal is to ensure that each tyre produced minimises resource consumption, from its supply chain, from sourcing the materials through to production.
“The way we see it today, sustainably-sourced raw materials, lightweight design and tread renewal are the key ingredients in making future generations of tyres more sustainable. Our concept study exemplifies Continental’s ongoing efforts to fully transition its global tire production to 100-per-cent sustainable materials,” said David O’Donnell, responsible for Continental’s global tyre original equipment business.
According to the company, more than half of the raw materials used in Conti GreenConcept are either from renewable sources or recycled. For example, 35 per cent of the tyre’s components are made from biodegradable materials such as natural rubber from dandelions, silicate from rice husks, and vegetable oils – a significant change from tyres that are primarily made from materials based on crude oil.
The decision to use natural rubber from dandelion and vegetable oils grown near the company’s plants is in line with its mission to lower carbon emissions from long-distance transportation and help preserve natural resources.
In addition, the tyre’s casing is made from reclaimed steel, recovered carbon black, and polyester from recycled plastic bottles; and then bonded and reinforced using Cokoon, an open-source eco-friendly technology developed in partnership with Turkish company Kordsa, to bond textile with rubber compounds.
Aside from using renewable and recyclable materials, the tyre was designed to be 40-per-cent lighter than conventional tyres, weighing just 7.5kg, allowing lower resource consumption for sustainable driving.
The company plans to manufacture all of its products using sustainably produced materials and become climate neutral across all its supply chains by 2050.