ETRMA aims for ‘key role’ in EU Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy
The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association says it “welcomes” the European Commission’s ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’, which it presented yesterday. The association representing tyre makers in Europe stresses that tyres can make a “sustainable contribution” to the decarbonisation and digital transformation of EU transport system.
“The tyre industry is committed to reducing its CO2 footprint throughout the entire tyre life cycle and is investing in innovative and sustainable mobility technologies,” states Fazilet Cinaralp, ETRMA secretary general. “Tyre manufacturers play an essential role in improving the safety and the greening of the mobility sector, in optimising tyre technology to improve vehicle’s fuel efficiency and in developing new digital services in transportation and tyre data solutions as an opportunity for economic recovery and sustainable mobility.”
Safety at the heart of sustainability
The ETRMA views safety as being at the heart of sustainability, both in the context of Sustainable & Smart Mobility strategy as well as the European Green Deal: “Tyres are inherently linked with safety, which remains our first priority.”
Decarbonising transport doesn’t just mean focusing on lower and zero-emission vehicles; it also involves making use of the most advanced tyre technology. Tyres are replaced several times throughout a vehicle’s lifetime. “When properly inflated and maintained, tyres’ rolling resistance reduces significantly the fuel consumption of vehicles (whether ICE vehicles or EV battery life). Clearly, tyre technology can contribute to an effective transition towards lower and zero-emission vehicles,” adds Cinaralp.
The tyre industry within the European Union has taken a proactive approach in reducing CO2 emissions through new and advanced tyre technologies whilst improving and promoting road safety. This engagement was reflected by the industry’s commitment to the establishment of both minimum performance requirements for tyres (since 2009) and tyre labelling.
On top of implementing these regulatory requirements, in 2016 the European tyre industry committed to further reduce the rolling resistance coefficient of truck tyres by one per cent each year until 2030. Taking into account the forecasted 18 per cent increase in road transportation, this will result in removing the equivalent of 81,000 40-tonne trucks from European roads every year.
Whilst the European tyre industry is investing to develop better-performing tyres, the ETRMA stresses that there is still “a huge potential to grow” the market for tyres that offer the best environmental and safety performance.
Regulatory framework needed for digital solutions
The Strategy also affirms the need to rapidly deploy digital technologies that support transport sustainability and the global competitiveness of EU industry. For years, and despite the current corona crisis, Europe’s tyre industry has continued to develop digital mobility solutions.
Current digital solutions translate vehicle data into alerts and advice for preventive repair and maintenance, remote diagnostic and prognostic services, and spare parts wholesale and retail.
The ETRMA points out that the concept of tyres as a service can deliver additional more benefits to drivers and fleet operators, such as fuel savings and increased road safety and vehicle uptime; reduced congestion and cleaner air. To make this happen, the association believes the EU “needs to speed up a consistent regulatory work on smart mobility and especially on access to in-vehicle data.”