French tire company Michelin is experimenting with wood to replace oil in its tires.
In its latest move towards sustainability, Michelin is looking into wood to cut down on oil, which comprises 80 percent of a standard car tire, specifically used to create its elastomers paired with actual rubber.
This follows a company mandate to look towards using bio-sourced materials for its tires, with research programs designed for the purpose.
According to Cyrille Roget, Director of Scientific and Innovation communication at Michelin, oil should make up only 20 percent of tires by 2048, not a small feat for its production volume of close to 200 million tires a year.
“We have a project working with wood chips. We will use the waste from the wood industry to create elastomers that come into tires,” said Roget. “We believe it is a good solution for the future.”
Look for a prototype to appear by 2020.
In related news, Michelin has also won a top honor in the influencer game, with Autoguide.com’s own Automotive Influence Report on Tires awarding Michelin the most talked about brand on its VerticalScope forums platform, with a little over 20 percent of all online conversation in 2017.
Rounding up the top five were Nitto Tires, BFGoodrich, Goodyear, and Pirelli.