AUTO INDUSTRY NEEDS TO LOOK BEYOND POWERTRAIN AND FUEL IN THE PURSUIT OF A GREENER DRIVE
When considering the subject of achieving sustainability in driving, attention typically falls squarely on the transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs).
Another subject that often comes to the fore is the switch to sustainable fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels as viable replacements for fossil fuels like petrol and diesel.
“The discussion that has dominated the front pages has tended towards the transition from ICE to EV or changing the fuel that the engine burns. However, it serves to remember that the average car has approximately 30,000 parts in an ICE car - from the large body panels, down to the smallest screws and nuts,” says Richard Fourie, Managing Director, Goodyear South Africa. According to consulting firm McKinsey, as vehicle tailpipe emissions are gradually reduced, an estimated 60% of automotive-industry emissions, by 2040, will come from materials used in production.
“It, therefore, stands to reason that we need to be looking into other components of mobility, beyond just powertrains and fuel types, when we work to address the topic of achieving a greener drive experience,” continues Fourie.
To this end, Goodyear remains on course to introduce the first 100 percent sustainable-material and maintenance-free tyre by 2030.What might have seemed unattainable just a few years ago was proven to be a very plausible ambition in 2021 when Goodyear unveiled a 70% sustainable-material tyre. “The tyre replaced traditional components with carbon blacks produced from methane, carbon dioxide and plant-based oil,” Fourie explained. Other components used include soybean oil, rice husk ash silica, as well as polyester from recycled bottles and other plastic waste.
“And earlier in January this year, Goodyear debuted a prototype 90 percent sustainable-material tyre at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas,” continued Fourie . “This latest development not only sets a new standard in sustainable tyre technology, but also showed lower rolling resistance when compared to tyres made with traditional materials.
“Such developments, aimed at reducing the auto industry’s overall carbon footprint, are just as important in the pursuit of the greener drive,” Fourie concludes.