As we attempt to wean ourselves off petroleum-based car fuels, let’s not forget that cars themselves are also filled with the slippery stuff. Yokohama is doing its part to ease the transition from petroleum-based materials with the Super E-spec tire, composed in part of oils extracted from orange peels along with natural rubber. The addition of orange oil reduces the petroleum content of each tire by 10%. Yokohama’s tire, made out of 80% non-petroleum derived materials, also features improved rolling resistance to increase fuel efficiency.
The idea for tires made from orange oil was originally thought up by Yokohama’s racing engineers, who found that the oil could increase a car’s grip on the road. Orange oil infusion can already be seen on Yokohama’s ADVAN ENV-R1TM racing tires, present on Porsche GT3 Cup cars.
Japanese consumers have been zooming around in orange oil derived tires for a year, but U.S. car buyers can only access the Super E-spec starting today. Initially, Yokohama will sell tires in four sizes (185/65R15 88H, 195/65R15 91H, 195/55R16 86V, and 215/60R16 95V) fitted mainly for popular hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid/Civic GX NGV, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid. And no, the Super E-spec doesn’t smell like oranges–it still emits the familiar rubbery tire scent.
[Via Environmental Leader]