Continental is one of the largest manufacturers of tires for automotive uses in the world. The company has revealed a new green tire concept aiming to create sustainable tires for passenger cars. The concept is called the Conti GreenConcept tire and revealed and IAA Mobility.
To create the concept tire, Continental leveraged current and emerging technologies to engineer sustainable tires for vehicles. The concept was created to minimize the consumption of all types of resources across the entire value chain for its construction. GreenConcept addressed all aspects of sourcing and procurement of raw materials at various stages of production and leverages methods to extend the tire’s service life to reduce waste at the end of its life.
Continental says the tire it created is made using a higher percentage of traceable, renewable, and recycled materials. It’s constructed using a lightweight design intended to conserve resources while its service life can be extended thanks to renewable tread. In addition, GreenConcept is constructed using more than 50 percent sustainable raw materials and is part of the company’s goal of fully transitioning to sustainable raw materials by 2050.
Sustainability in the tire realm means all materials for the tire’s construction are gathered using a closed-loop cycle and have no harmful effects on the environment. Continental also plans to be climate neutral across its entire supply chain. The GreenConcept tire is constructed using 35 percent renewable material, including natural rubber from dandelions, silicate from rice husk ash, vegetable oils, and resins.
Its construction significantly reduces the need for construction material based on crude oil. The tire manufacturer notes that its supply chain already makes heavy use of recycled rubber and vegetable oils. Another important aspect of the concept tire is that it is constructed using 17 percent recycled materials. A major component of those recycled materials is reclaimed steel and recovered carbon black.
Continental also uses polyester obtained from recycled plastic bottles for the tire’s casing, which it says is an industry first. Importantly, the recycling process for those plastic bottles doesn’t use intermediate chemical processing steps, and the resulting polyester yarn is ideally suited to the forces tire are subjected to. The resulting concept tire weighs up to 40 percent less than conventional tires at 7.5 kilograms. It also has a rolling resistance approximately 25 percent less than a typical class A tire under the EU Tire Label system.