BRUSSELS — The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETMRA) is embracing a recently unveiled European Union "Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy," stating that tires will play an important role in the decarbonization and digital transformation of the European transport system.
Presented by the European Commission on Dec. 9, the strategy is structured around three key objectives: making the European transport system "sustainable, smart and resilient."
The roadmap has been developed in the context of the European Green Deal, which aims to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050 in the region.
"The tire Industry is committed to reducing its CO2 footprint throughout the entire tire life cycle and is investing in innovative and sustainable mobility technologies," ETRMA Secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said.
With safety at the heart of both the mobility strategy and the EU Green Deal, the ETRMA stressed that tires are inherently linked with safety.
"Tire manufacturers play an essential role in improving the safety and the greening of the mobility sector, in optimizing tire technology to improve vehicle's fuel efficiency and in developing new digital services in transportation and tire data solutions," Ms. Cinaralp added.
In terms of the role of tires in reducing transport's carbon footprint, the Brussels-based trade group said manufacturers already are using the most advanced tire technology to increase energy efficiency in vehicles.
"When properly inflated and maintained, tires' rolling resistance reduces significantly the fuel consumption of vehicles (whether ICE vehicles or battery lives of EVs)," Ms. Cinaralp said.
Clearly, she went on to say, tire technology can contribute to an effective transition towards lower- and zero-emission vehicles.
The ETRMA went on to highlight the "proactive approach" adopted by the EU tire industry towards reducing CO2 emissions.
"This engagement was reflected by the industry's commitment to the establishment of both tire minimum performances' requirements (since 2009) and tire labelling," it said.
On top of implementing these regulatory requirements, in 2016 the industry committed to further reduce the rolling resistance coefficient of truck tires by 1% per year until 2030.
Taking into account a forecasted increase in road transport by up to 18% by 2030, the industry's efforts will result in removing from the European roads the equivalent of 81,000 40-tonne trucks every year, the trade group said.
Regarding the strategy's focus on the deployment of digital technologies to support sustainable mobility, the ETRMA stressed that digital innovative solutions need a regulatory framework.
"For years, and despite the health crisis of the last few months, the European tire industry has continued to develop digital mobility solutions around tires," the association said.
For drivers and operators to benefit from concepts such as tires-as-a-service, ETRMA said that the EU needed to "speed up a consistent regulatory work on smart mobility and especially on access to in-vehicle data.