This is set to be a big year for the auto industry, and tire makers are off to the races!
Last year we saw Michelin’s plan for cardboard tires that has us on the edge of our seats, but they’re not the only manufacturer who has big plans for the future!
We recently covered how Bridgestone is making strides to keep its rubber tires all natural. It turns out their efforts in bio-rubber are only half of the equation: the tire company is also planning a big move around the hottest topic on the Ernest Buzz — plastic!
Within the next year, Bridgestone is set to release its first thermoplastic tires to the general public. Before you grab your keys for a joy ride, the ones that will be hitting the market next year are currently only for bicycles, but they’ll pave the way for airless car tires in the not-too-distant future.
Left: Prototype for an airless bicycle tire, Right: Prototype for an airless car tire, Photos: Bridgestone
The benefits of these plastic tires are almost too many to count. For starters they’re made of recyclable materials, so they may eventually put Bridgestone’s rubber tires to rest for good someday. But their ecological impact goes a step further by changing the way your vehicle’s tire interacts with the road you’re driving on.
When you put the pedal to the metal, your car expends energy to get your tires in motion. The tire tread faces resistance when it hits the pavement, and that means lost gasoline. Most of that expended energy comes from the fact that rubber tires change shape as they roll, but airless tires can save up to 90% of that energy. Less CO2 means a happier Earth!
Of course, we’re no strangers to awesome vehicular power here at Ernest. A lot of good can be done by reinventing the wheel — literally — and using different materials is a great way to move any product into the eco-friendly future. See how we helped one bicycle manufacturer hit the road with fresh looks that reduced their carbon footprint.