BRUSSELS—The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association has welcomed a recently unveiled European Union "sustainable and smart mobility strategy," saying 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 road map has been developed in the context of the European Green Deal, which aims to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent 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 in a statement in reaction to the strategy.
With safety at the heart of both the mobility strategy and the EU Green Deal, ETRMA reminded that tires were 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," Cinaralp added.
In terms of the role of tires in decarbonizing transportation, ETRMA said manufacturers 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)," the ETRMA secretary general said.
Tire technology can contribute to an effective transition toward lower and zero emission vehicles, she added.
The ETRMA statement highlighted 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 labeling," it said.
In 2016, the industry committed to further reduce the rolling resistance coefficient of truck tires by 1 percent per year until 2030.
"Taking into account the forecasted increase by 18 percent of road transport, this will result in removing from the European roads the equivalent of 81,000 40-ton trucks every year," the statement added.
Regarding the strategy's focus on the deployment of digital technologies to support sustainable mobility, 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."