*Feature image sourced from: goodyear.eu
With fuel-efficient engines now becoming a pivotal factor in the purchasing process of customers, car manufacturers are beginning to take steps to ensure that their vehicles are Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) certified.
However, engines are only one part of the energy efficiency equation. Another major component of a vehicle is the tyre. In recent years, tyre manufacturers are emphasizing “green tyres” that does not only preserve the environment but also improves a vehicle’s performance.
Before we take a look at the benefits, let us get an overview on how eco-friendly tyres are made.
One of the main factors that establishes a “green” product is the raw material used to manufacture them.
In eco-friendly tyres, tyre manufacturers are replacing rubber materials with a synthetic blend, often incorporating silica. Silica, does not only help in environmental preservation but it can also reduce friction on the roads, allowing the car to reduce fuel consumption.
Tyre manufacturers are also actively reducing the usage of petroleum in the process of manufacturing tyres, replacing it with plant-derived materials such as sunflower oil as a substitute to petroleum and flora-derived latex for rubber.
Nokian, an eco-friendly tyre manufacturer, was the first tire manufacturer to use only purified, low-aromatic oils. To maintain grip, the natural rubber compound in Nokian tires contains canola oil.
Other than using synthetic blends, tyre manufacturers also use recycled rubber to manufacture new tyres.
Eco-friendly tires are known to reduce fuel consumption because they are designed to reduce rolling resistance.
Lower rolling resistance is achievable in eco-friendly tyres due to the usage of silica.
It is said that the rolling resistance of tyres is a major factor in fuel consumption, accounting up to thirty percent of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Eco-friendly tyres are known to reduce the rolling resistance by 2-3 percent which leads to more fuel saving and also, money saving.
Wear and Tear
Lower rolling resistance equates to slower wear and tear. This means, the lifespan of a tyre is increased, allowing consumers to use that particular tyre for longer durations.
In terms of environmental safety, less oil and energy will be used to manufacture replacement tyres. Many environmentally friendly tyres are designed to extend tread life, so the consumer can use them for longer periods of time.
Overall, there are three main benefits consumers can leverage upon using eco-friendly tyres:
- Reduced fuel consumption
- The process of manufacturing eco-friendly tyres incorporates silica to improve overall performance of tyres and are designed to provide better traction.
- Silica reduces friction (due to its the higher traction capabilities) between the tyres and the road surface, improving performance while also adding life to the tyres.
- Fuel efficiency
- The reduced fuel consumption leads to higher fuel efficiency. A car equipped with eco-friendly tyres doesn’t have to “fight” the road, due to the lower rolling resistance, making the driving experience smoother.
- The advent of eco-friendly tyres has led to tyre manufacturers recycling components from used tyre to reduce environmental harm and cost of the tyre manufacturing process.
In a gist, tyre manufacturers are beginning to cut down on using harmful materials to the environment.
While reducing friction, fuel efficiency is increased. As a result, lesser fuel is used, CO2 emissions are also reduced, leading the car to become “greener” or EEV certified.
With less wear and tear on the tyre, durability and longevity is extended, meaning fewer trips to replace worn out tyres. This leads to manufacturers not having to produce as many tyres, saving materials and energy along the course.
In the end, tyre manufacturers are capable of producing better quality tyres with lower cost. It is all a chain reaction.