LE MANS, France — Michelin Group has long used motorsports to push the envelope on new technology, and that practice continues today with efforts to push the limits of sustainability alongside outright performance.
Case in point: the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, where the race tires Michelin supplied to over half the 62-car field — tires capable of running at speeds of over 200 mph and cornering forces of several G's hours at a time — were built with 30% (dry weather tire) to 45% (wet weather) sustainable materials.
Michelin's presence at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours — where the French tire maker equipped the overall winning entry for the 26th straight year and 32nd time overall in the race's 100-year history — built on its efforts from 2013 to 2021 when it was the designated tire supplier to Formula E.
The founding principles of Formula E emphasized sustainability up and down the supply chain, including the tires, which were designed to be used in all conditions, eliminating the need for purpose-built wet-weather tires, and which used a high percentage of sustainable materials.
At the same time, Michelin used the spotlight that the annual Le Mans 24 Hour race provides to promote progress it's making toward its goal of a 100% sustainable materials tire by 2050. The tire maker created the hashtag #WeRaceForChange to promote its efforts.