The new rubber has a wood-based material in it.
Tires are among the most important components of any vehicle, but as the rest of the automobile has advanced at a rapid rate, the rubber around your wheels hasn't seen quite the same level of advancement. That's all changing though. Michelin has unveiled a special tire for sporty electric vehicles and is looking to recycle plastic bottles to make new tires too. Pirelli has also developed special tires for the Porsche Taycan, and now the manufacturer has revealed the work it has done with BMW to create special sustainable tires for the X5 Hybrid. This makes BMW the first to use these new Pirelli tires that contain FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon.
Rayon is a wood-based material used to strengthen tires. The aim is for Pirelli to use fewer synthetic materials in the construction of its tires. Pirelli's Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Future Mobility, Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, had the following to say: "Before even reaching the road, sustainable mobility begins with raw materials. With the world's first FSC-certified tire, Pirelli once again demonstrates its commitment to pursuing increasingly challenging goals in terms of sustainability, a testament to the constant work on innovative materials and increasingly cutting-edge production processes. We continue to invest in sustainable growth for our planet, aware that this is also essential for the future of our businesses."
The effects that tires have on the planet have been shown in the past, and it's thus crucial to make every aspect of modern cars as clean as possible. Presumably, these new tires - 22-inch P-Zeros - will soon be replicated in other sizes for other vehicles, but BMW is focusing on more than just the items it is supplied. The German automaker says that it has contractually obligated all its direct suppliers to comply with environmental standards and has set up processes to ensure that subcontractors do the same. Furthermore, new suppliers must verify sustainability requirements through questionnaires and audits.
These tires may seem like a small step in the right direction, but in combination with other efforts, all cars are slowly becoming kinder to the environment.