Rethinking tires to tackle the biggest CO2 problem in motorsports

The motorsports industry has built a solid reputation as the ultimate nursery for innovation, accelerating the adoption of cutting-edge technologies across the entire transport sector. Sustainability is no exception.

Creating Formula-E for the sole purpose of championing electric vehicles shows how much they’ve embraced their role as ambassadors for sustainability in transport. But their contributions don’t stop there. From EVs to sustainable fuels and more efficient power trains, the industry has accelerated the adoption of various sustainable technologies across multiple transport sectors – also known as the multiplier effect.

Net Zero by 2030

The industry has not only worked to promote sustainable transport on a global level but also reduce its own impact on the environment, advocating for the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and ISO 20121 standards used to set sustainability goals and quantify their progress.

Motorsport organizations and racing teams aligned with the UN framework are currently committed to reaching net zero by 2030. But the actual races account for less than 1% of total emissions. The biggest contributor of CO2 emissions in motorsports is logistics. Absolute emission reductions in logistics would have the most significant impact on achieving their 2030 targets.


Reducing emissions with CarbonX®

For the last two years, we’ve been proving that our carbon material can break the conventional limitations of carbon black and silica to improve sustainability through performance in tires.

Because of its unique structure, CarbonX® allows tiremakers to overcome the limitations of conventional materials and thus achieve better fuel efficiency and higher durability at the same time. Better rolling resistance results in higher top-speed and less fuel consumption for conventional and electric vehicles alike. Better grip improves traction and handling. Better wear resistance translates into maintaining high performance levels for longer. It can also help make longer-lasting, more lightweight tires and reduce tire and road wear particles (TRWP).

Earlier this year, we manufactured our own tires and road tests confirmed CarbonX® was able to improve fuel efficiency by 1.3%. Retro-fitting their logistics fleet with CarbonX® tire treads could help the motorsport industry reduce emissions where they need it most.


Immediate CO2 savings for Formula E and Formula One

This isn’t the first time the Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA) has looked at tires to reduce its carbon footprint. Last year, Formula E was able to reduce their emissions by  50 tonnes CO2 by reducing the number of tires allocated for single and double-header races. Retrofitting their logistics fleet with CarbonX® tires could save them nearly twice as much.

Logistics accounts for about three quarters of the CO2 emission generated by Formula-E, adding up to about 14,500 tonnes CO2. Assuming that half of their logistics is on land, a 1.3% improvement in fuel efficiency would save them about 95 tonnes CO2 every year.

Formula One hosted 25 races and generated about 256,000 tonnes CO2 in 2018. Freight and transport accounts for 45% of their total emissions, translating into about 115,000 tonnes CO2. Retrofitting their logistics fleet with CarbonX® tires would save them 750 tonnes CO2 every year.


 Accelerating change to stay on track for 2030

According to the International Energy Agency, annual emissions from road transport must be reduced by 30%about 1.8 billion tonnes – to meet the 2030 target. We must find solutions that can achieve absolute emission reductions and be implemented quickly and universally. All tire formulations are different. But if our current solution in tires were applied on a global scale, we could save 76 million tonnes CO2 in absolute emissions every year.

Creating partnerships in the motorsport industry will not only have an immediate impact on reducing their own emissions, but also have a multiplier effect on the logistics sector and the transport sector at large with a proven concept to reduce absolute emissions.


Is your organization looking for new ways to strengthen its sustainability strategy and reduce more emissions? Visit our website to learn more about our commercial successes in tires. Got a project in mind? Fill out the form and let’s work together!

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