Green Car Tyres Driving the Industry Forward
A green car is environmentally-friendly, so Hybrids are changing the way people think about the automotive ifndustry, one of the world’s dirtiest businesses. These cars are becoming more widespread as people recognise the impact that vehicles powered by unleaded fuel and diesel have on the environment, but not many people think about what their tyres are doing to our atmosphere.
Tyres contribute to the pollution in out atmosphere in a number of ways: they produce an incredible amount of rubber dust in their everyday use, a lot of which ends up in out lungs and water supplies, and of the 48 million tyres that are disposed of in New Zealand each year 66% end up in landfill where they break down very slowly and can cause numerous health and environmental problems.
These issues don’t just call for advances in technology, but also a long-term shift in attitudes towards waste disposal and recycling. Luckily, leading tyre manufacturers are making great progress in reducing tyre-related pollution another way – by going straight to the source and creating green car tyres.
How green car tyres work
Eco-friendly tyres reduce the fuel consumption levels of vehicles, thus lowering CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption is in large part affected by the rolling resistance of a tyre, a term which refers to how easily a tyre traves across a surface. As tyres travel, the movement creates friction. To overcome the friction, cars must output more power, which means consuming more fuel. The higher the rolling resistance, the more power a car needs to output. Green car tyres reduce the amount of friction produced by their movement. Their lower rolling resistance means that vehicles fitted with eco-friendly tyres don’t need to consume as much fuel in order to move.
In the past, rolling resistance and vehicle performance were pretty well mutually exclusive: tyres were either energy efficient with a low rolling resistance at the cost of bad grip and traction, or they provided good performance levels but wasted energy overcoming their high rolling resistance. Green tyres, which have been made possible by recent advances in the structural design of tyres and the composition of rubber compounds, are both environmentally friendly and provide high performance.
From theory to practice
But just how much more efficient are green tyres? The Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 improves fuel efficiency by up to 5.7% and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 5.8%. Goodyear’s Assurance Fuel Max tyre saves approximately 320L of fuel during its lifetime, and for every second of movement a full set of Michelin’s Energy XM1+ tyres save approximately 110kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. If the majority of drivers fitted their cars with green tyres these numbers would make a substantial difference to the amount of pollution produced on the roads every day.
It’s easy to assume that these improvements would come with a significantly more expensive price tag, but in general eco-friendly tyres are actually the same price as their less efficient counterparts and can even save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
- You can reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 5.8% with the Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 for only $135.
- Petrol is expensive! Wouldn’t it be nice to save yourself over 320L of fuel with the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max from $99?
- The Michelin Energy XM2 range starts at $115 and will save you a lot more than that in fuel costs. https://www.tyroola.co.nz/tyre/michelin/energy-xm2
- Pirelli have made the world’s first green performance tyre, the Verde All Season, which can be yours from $109. https://www.tyroola.co.nz/tyre/pirelli/scorpion-verde-as/
- Or get your hands on the brand new Goodyear EfficientGrip for $79. https://www.tyroola.co.nz/tyre/goodyear/efficientgrip/
Current green car tyres are already a big improvement on regular tyres, and manufacturers are continuing to improve their energy efficiency. Earlier this year Goodyear released their EfficientGrip tyre, the first of its kind to be made with silica instead of carbon black. The silica reinforcement lowers rolling resistance even further and its production emits less CO2.
ENERGYWISE - The batch for a green car
Efforts are also being made to increase public awareness of green car tyres. Late last year New Zealand introduced the ENERGYWISE approval mark to incentivise drivers to invest in energy-efficient tyres. To attain the ENERGYWISE stamp tyres must meet a set of minimum criteria for both fuel efficiency and safety, promoting eco-friendly tyres as reliable and financially smart.
Closer to home, New Zealand has the Tyre Stewardship Scheme, which aims to reduce the number of tyres that are disposed of in landfill or through other environmentally-damaging methods. Companies like Bridgestone, Pirelli, Beaurepaires, and New Zealand Post have joined the Tyre Stewardship Scheme to ensure that tyres are recycled ethically. With systems like these becoming more reputable, it’s only a matter of time before eco-friendly tyres are commonplace in New Zealand.
These technological and cultural advancements are making great strides to reduce the amount of pollution caused by tyres, and that trend is showing no signs of slowing down. With some of the most respected tyre manufacturers producing and popularising eco-friendly tyres, it’s easy for drivers to do their part for the environment without sacrificing their wallet.