Goodyear makes tires that are made from 90% sustainable materials

Goodyear has developed a prototype tire made from 90% sustainable materials, which the company also believes could improve fuel economy and range for electric vehicles.

The tire, dubbed the “demonstration tire” by the company, is not yet ready for production but has passed all applicable regulatory tests as well as Goodyear’s internal tests, according to a press release. This test also showed lower rolling resistance than a comparable conventional tyre, which helps increase efficiency and therefore reduce the amount of fuel or electricity required to travel a given distance.

The demonstration tire uses 17 ingredients in 12 tire components that are sustainable or at least have a lower impact on the environment than conventional tire materials.

Manufacture of Goodyear tires

Manufacture of Goodyear tires

These include four different types of carbon black, a common ingredient in tires used to reinforce the rubber compound. Carbon black is usually made by burning petroleum products, but Goodyear used methane, carbon dioxide, vegetable oil and scrap tire pyrolysis oil as raw materials, which the company says reduce carbon emissions.

Another green ingredient is soybean oil, which is used to keep the rubber compound pliable at different temperatures. It replaces petroleum-based products and, according to Goodyear, is derived from soy residues from food and animal feed. The company already uses soybean oil in some production tires, including racing tires.

Also included are silica made from rice husk waste, polyester made from recycled bottles, pine resin and polymers made from bio-based materials. The steel for the cords of this radial tire contains a high proportion of recycled material and is manufactured in an electric arc furnace, which allows for both more recycled content and less energy consumption, according to Goodyear.

Goodyear tires made from 70% sustainable material

Goodyear tires made from 70% sustainable material

This tire is not going into production, but Goodyear plans to start producing a tire made from 70% sustainable materials this year. This comes just a year after Goodyear demonstrated a concept tire with 70% sustainable content.

Goodyear isn’t the only company trying to make tires more sustainable. Bridgestone has developed natural rubber tires using desert shrubs from the American Southwest, while Michelin and Hyundai have teamed up to make tires more environmentally friendly.

Goodyear also has some far more unusual tire concepts. The company said last year it was developing airless tires, and in 2020 it demonstrated a regenerative tire concept aimed at reducing waste. Goodyear hasn’t discussed a firm timeline for commercializing these designs, but for now, increasing sustainable content is a key goal.