While vehicles perform many wonderful functions, they are not traditionally known for their environmental friendliness; between the large gas guzzling engines and various necessary yet harmful manufactured fluids. Fortunately those in the auto industry have taken these problems to heart and are working hard to find solutions. Increased fuel efficiency, electric car options, and cars that release fewer damaging emissions into the air are just a few of the improvements that are being made to make cars more earth friendly. The latest, and maybe one of the most anticipated, developments is fossil-free tires.
Tires are an important feature on every vehicle. They keep everyone moving forward comfortably and safely. The traditional process for making tires is quite extensive and includes the addition of various fossil fuels, such as carbon black, to increase the tires durability and performance. Sumitomo Rubber Industries, however, has developed a 100% fossil-free tire that will surely revolutionize the tire industry.
Developing this tire has been a real journey for Sumitomo. It began in 2001; however it wasn’t until 2006 that they released the Enasave ES801 that was 70% fossil-free and 2008 a 97% fossil-free tire was released. Although a prototype was showcased at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the most remarkable in the Enasave line is slated to make its big debut at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show during the week of November 23-December 1, 2013.
While the average consumer may not notice the difference between the Enasave tire and a traditional tire, it’s how it’s made that counts. To begin each tire is made entirely from renewable materials. Instead of using fossil resources for rubber antioxidants or vulcanization accelerators, they developed a unique process using plant oil instead of mineral oil, natural rubber, and silica instead of carbon black. Currently Sumitomo is testing the durability and safety of these tires as well as methods for mass production. The line is set to release next year.
With each new development cars become less damaging to the environment and more efficient for drivers. Many are hopefully that this latest development will transform the tire industry and take us to the next level of green cars.