As an automotive writer, it is almost painful to report on technology advances that a “just five years away!” It was with relief that I saw Goodyear’s latest announcement that its new demonstration tire isn’t just a pipe dream but rather one that has passed all applicable regulatory testing as well as Goodyear’s internal testing.
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The new tire is intended to reduce the amount of unsustainable materials used in its construction. The idea being that a tire made sustainably is more environmentally friendly. This jives perfectly with Goodyear's present industry lead as a manufacturer of tires designed specifically for electric vehicles.
The new tire was made with 90% sustainable materials. Goodyear is not in this endeavor alone. Instead, Goodyear is working in conjunction with the entire tire supply chain to accomplish the worthy goal of moving tires toward being more sustainably manufactured.
“We continue to make progress toward our goal of introducing the first 100% sustainable-material tire in the industry by 2030,” said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, Global Operations and Chief Technology Officer. “The past year was a pivotal one toward achieving this goal. We researched new technologies, identified opportunities for further collaboration and utilized our team’s tenacity to not only demonstrate our capabilities to produce a 90% sustainable-material tire, but also to produce a tire with up to 70% sustainable-material content this year. Our team continues to showcase its innovation and commitment to building a better future.”
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The first way that Goodyear is moving its new tire design toward a greener method of manufacture is by replacing the carbon black presently derived from burning hydrocarbons toward one with carbon black from plant-derived sources. Goodyear is looking at CO2 reduction in this stage of the process.
Next is the use of soybean oils. And the oils are not created specifically for making tires, but are leftover from the feedstock industry.
Since I live in New England, silica is one of my “favorite” tire ingredients. High-silica content tires are the basis of all winter and four-season tires. Goodyear’s demonstration tire compound includes high-quality silica produced from rice husk waste residue (RHA silica), a byproduct of rice processing that is often discarded and put into landfills.
Check back to Torque News for future updates on Goodyear’s efforts to move tires toward a more sustainable manufacturing process. We would jump at the opportunity to test a beta tire on one of our fleet vehicles.
Image of sustainable tire by Goodyear.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin