To improve environmental responsibility across the entirety of a vehicle’s life cycle, automakers are developing and executing sustainable component material sourcing and construction strategies. For example, tire maker Pirelli has announced a new 22-inch tire option for the 2022 BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The new tire is composed of natural rubber and reinforced by rayon, a wood-based material. BMW says it is the first car company to use these sustainable materials.
The Forest Stewardship Council has certified the natural rubber, saying it improves labor conditions for the farmers of rubber trees and encourages mitigation of deforestation practices. Pirelli will manufacture the tires in its U.S. factory in Rome, Georgia, not far from the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that builds the X5. The tires will be installed on the X5 PHEV by August of 2021.