Where the rubber meets the road" is an old industry expression that might be in for an update.
Where the rice husks meet the road, maybe?
The German megasupplier and tire maker Continental AG is promoting a new concept tire called Conti GreenConcept that is made in part of materials derived from dandelions, rice husk ashes and recycled plastic bottles. The concept hints at a more sustainable future, both for the environment and for Continental itself.
More than half of the tire is made of traceable, renewable and recycled materials, the company said.
A little more than a third of it is made of renewable raw materials including vegetable oils, rubber made from dandelions and silicates from rice husk ashes, while 17 percent comes from recycled materials including plastic bottles and processed steel.
Continental wants all of its tires to be made from recycled or renewable materials by 2050. Last year it produced nearly 130 million tires.
GreenConcept highlights the company's greener direction as it works to reduce its carbon footprint and build a more environmentally sustainable business.
The company has set a target of zero carbon emissions for its plants worldwide by 2040 and expects to get its entire supply chain carbon-neutral by 2050.
"The good news is everything that we showed can be produced," Continental CEO Nikolai Setzer told Automotive News about the tire. "What has to be done now is to industrialize it all on a level where you can use it" on a mass scale.
Setzer said Continental is already using recycled materials and will soon start using polyester made from bottles in a certain volume of tires in the near future. But other materials, including the natural rubber made from dandelions, are unlikely to be used on a wide scale for several years, he said.