Continental, founding partner and exclusive tyre supplier of the all-electric Extreme E racing series, has developed a new high-performance tyre for the 2022 season, which gets underway later this month.
The performance of the second generation CrossContact Extreme E is better than last year’s model, and Continental has completely redesigned the tread compound and carcass to incorporate a higher proportion of sustainable materials in its construction.
A third of the new tyre is now made from recycled and renewable raw materials, including silica obtained from the ashes of rice husks – a waste product from agriculture – alongside reprocessed steel and carbon black.
In an exciting first for the brand, Continental is also using polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles in the tyre carcass, to completely eliminate the use of conventional polyster in the CrossContact Extreme E.
Each of the 30 tyres that Continental is supplying to all ten Extreme E teams now contains recycled polyester made from around 60 reprocessed PET bottles, achieved with new technology known as ContiRe.Tex.
The polyester in the carcass, which represents the load-bearing frame of a tyre, is produced by one of Continental’s cooperation partners from old PET bottles that will no longer be reused, without any intermediate chemical steps, employing ContiRe.Tex technology.
This sustainable technology will be integrated into the volume production of various Continental premium tyres later this year.
The size, diameter and width of the CrossContact Extreme E tyre remain unchanged at 37 X 12.5 R17 – i.e. 37-inch diameter, 12.5-inch width, and 17-inch rim.
Nels von Schnakenburg, technical manager for Extreme E at Continental, said: “With the wealth of new knowledge gained during the first season, we have been able to enhance the next generation of CrossContact Extreme E and have placed an even greater focus on the use of sustainable and recyclable materials.
“With Extreme E, we test our latest technologies and developments under particularly extreme and unique conditions. The results will help us in the introduction of sustainable solutions for our volume production.”
Continental is a founding partner and exclusive tyre supplier of the off-road racing series, which was first held in 2021. The 2022 Extreme E racing series starts with the Desert X Prix in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on February 19 and 20. By bringing motorsports with electrically powered vehicles to the remotest corners of the world, the ambition is to raise awareness of climate change among motor racing fans. The European races later in the series will be covered by various TV companies and broadcasters.
Continental is pursuing the ambitious goal of becoming the world’s most advanced tyre company in terms of ecological and social responsibility by 2030. By 2050 at the latest, the company intends to use 100-percent sustainably produced materials in its tyre products and achieve complete carbon neutrality along the entire value chain.