We supply durable, energy-efficient tires that offer the very best safety characteristics. In pursuit of that goal, we are constantly working to improve tire life, wear rates and rolling resistance – factors that are crucial to the exceptional quality of our tires.
By optimizing rolling resistance for all types of vehicle, we are making further progress in boosting energy efficiency. After all, the better the rolling resistance characteristics, the lower a vehicle’s fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions will be. This applies in particular to all types of electric and hybrid vehicles. Lower rolling resistance cuts fuel consumption and so extends the range of electric vehicles.
Our material experts and tire engineers make various adjustments to reduce rolling resistance, such as specially optimizing the use of all materials used. We are constantly working to perfect the compositions of our rubber compounds and to ensure that they are used in a way that saves weight. In doing so, we are setting new standards in the tire industry all the time without having to compromise on safety or comfort.
We are working on various levels to minimize the impact of tire and road wear on the environment and to develop new methods. For example, we collaborate with external partners such as universities, industry associations and other companies.
Continental is setting new standards in the industry when it comes to optimizing rolling resistance characteristics.
As part of a customer project involving original equipment, we developed a tire with significantly improved rolling resistance. Based on a Continental EcoContact 6 (215/60 R17), the tire surpasses the requirements of the EU tire label’s A rating for energy efficiency by around 17 percent, which means that it has exceptionally low rolling resistance. It also achieved an A rating – the top class for the EU tire label – for wet grip. The reason that this development work by the material experts and tire engineers at Continental is so remarkable is that reducing rolling resistance and delivering outstanding braking performance are usually mutually exclusive objectives due to the laws of physics. This is because while reducing rolling resistance involves minimizing energy losses, it is the complete opposite when it comes to braking, in that the tire has to dissipate as much energy as possible to minimize braking distances. The improvements were made possible by a new sidewall structure and a special rubber compound for the tread.
Optimum grip in any traffic situation is a key function of tires. Grip enables safety, for example when accelerating and braking. The transmission of power during this process results in combined wear particles from the material of the tire tread and the road surface. Continental's aim is to minimize the effect of tire and road wear particles on the environment by improved tire design. Continuous improvement of mileage and wear rate without compromising safety is therefore an important criterion in Continental's tire development.
In addition to the continuous further development of our tire design, we are committed to a common test methodology to make the wear rate of tires measurable and comparable. It is also important for us to understand in detail how exactly tire wear occurs and what its properties are. Only in this way can we develop effective methods to minimize its generation and impact on the environment.
The Tire Industry Project (TIP) is a global CEO-led initiative of leading tire manufacturers in the context of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
As a founding member and Co-Chair Continental is further emphasizing its comprehensive commitment to sustainability.