Pictured here is an tire made from 85% Citrus Oil – a useful oil extracted from orange rinds discarded by the citrus industry. The remaining portion of the tire is petroleum based traditional material. The prototype, by Yokohama, is one of the most interesting things I saw at the LA Auto Show yesterday and, assuming what their rep says is true, could impact drivers in more ways than one. Do take all this with a grain of salt, as the product is not on the street, so to speak, and there is no information on Yokohama’s website yet about it. Here are some of the highlights:
1) 80% less petroleum used in the manufacture
2) An “air permeation suppression film” which apparently reduces leakage and ensures good pressure
3) Reduced weight, and therefore less resistance
No report on durability and wear and tear, but Yokohama is serious about releasing the technology in 2008. Here’s a very slow to load video on MSN for more.
Assuming the tire performs as well as advertised, it’s a no brainier for a petroleum free future and Yokohama deserves praise for its innovative use of less toxic, waste derived materials.