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Michelin's Vision Concept Tire Photo: Cristina Commendatore/Fleet Owner
Michelin's Vision Concept Tire on display at the 2018 Movin'On sustainable mobility summit.

Michelin sets ambitious tire goals for 2048

Michelin said its tires will be made using 80% sustainable materials, and that 100% of all its tires will be recycled by 2048.

MONTREAL, QUE. During its Movin’On 2018 summit on sustainable mobility, Michelin announced its plan to manufacture tires using 80% sustainable materials. Michelin also noted that by 2048, 100% of all its tires will be recycled.

During a press conference here at the 2018 summit, Cyrille Roget, Michelin’s director of technical and scientific communications, explained that today the world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70%, while the recycling rate is 50%.

Michelin tires are currently made using 28% sustainable materials (26% bio-sourced materials like natural rubber, sunflower oil, limonene, etc., and 2% recycled materials such as steel or recycled powdered tires).

Michelin announced it is investing in recycling technologies to increase that content to 80% sustainable materials. The company projects that by 2048 its tires will be 100% recycled for the vehicles of the future.

“The savings could be huge – 33 million barrels of oil every year would be saved by using recycled or renewable material,” Roget said.

“This is something that involves a lot of partners Michelin will need to achieve those ambitions,” he added. “This is not something Michelin can achieve alone.”

To help attain its goal, Michelin recently acquired Lehigh Technologies, a specialist in high-technology micro powders derived from recycled tires.

Lehigh, which is part of the High Technology Materials Business Unit of Michelin, produces a raw material called Micronized Rubber Powders (MRP). MRP replaces oil- and rubber-based feedstocks in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications, including high-performance tires, plastics, consumer goods, coatings, sealants, construction materials and asphalt.

This announcement comes a year after Michelin revealed its Vision concept tire during its inaugural Movin’On summit. Features of the Vision concept tire include:

  • An airless tire made of bio-sourced and recycled products;
  • A connected eco-system within the tire, providing services and advice to the driver;
  • A bio-degradable tread that can be renewed with a 3D printer.
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