Fruity tyres on menu

Hand over the juicer, let’s squeeze out some tyres as Yokohama launches an appealing plan

By Rob McKay | May 23, 2013

Yokohama Tyre is making bold predictions about the future of tyre materials.

Combining eco-friendly orange oil derived from orange peel, and inert silica ensures a new brand of eco-friendly tyre is nearly 10 percent lighter than a petroleum-based tyre, reducing fuel usage by around 8 to10 percent.

Lower rolling resistance of these tyres sees a vehicle require less power to drive, therefore using less power and burning less fuel.

The company launched locally its personal vehicle BluEarth AE01 eco-tyre, which contains orange oil, at Sydney’s Top Gear Festival in February, though its dB Super E-Spec, with similar technology, appeared in the US in 2008.

Yokohama Tyre Australia Managing Director Tatsuya Murata says the inclusion of orange oil at a nano-particle level to replace some petroleum-based oil content is "just the beginning".

And while the company is yet to comment on potential commercial vehicle applications in Australia, industry speculation has surfaced that this is the logical next step, perhaps starting with buses.

In the US last year, the company launched the Avid Ascend, able to be used in minivans, which appears to give the speculation at least some credence.

"By including orange all in this new eco-tyre, we’ve achieved not just the introduction of a genuine eco-focused tyre, we are meeting strong performance expectations of the consumer market for more tyre malleability with increased lifespan," Murata says.


"We are pleased to be using oil that is a by-product from the food processing sector and infusing this at a nano level into the tyre to give us these two qualities, which are normally mutually exclusive.


"The amount of orange oil in these tyres is not a huge quantity – for scientific reasons the amount used is optimisedto maximise the safety and performance factors we set out to achieve."

Murata adds that: "Business owners and fleet managers around Australia can now operate knowing that even their tyres have reduced petroleum oil content and improved grip, they are saving fuel and reducing the frequency at which they need to replace tyres.

"As the Managing Director of the Australian arm of the global Yokohama tyre brand that engineered this tyre solution, the BluEarth AE01 is a massive achievement by our company and it does challenge the entire industry to focus on developing more eco-friendly and carbon conscious tyre solutions."



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