Hanover, February 14, 2022. Continental has developed a new high-performance tyre for the second season of the all-electric Extreme E racing series, which starts with the Desert X Prix in Neom, Saudi Arabia, on February 19 and 20. When developing the new model, the tyre engineers and materials experts at Continental have not only improved performance, but also placed particular emphasis on a high proportion of sustainable materials. Continental has therefore completely redesigned the tread compound and the carcass of the second-generation CrossContact Extreme E on the basis of sustainable materials. Overall, the new CrossContact Extreme E is made from around one-third recycled and renewable raw materials. Silica obtained from the ashes of rice husks, a waste product from agriculture, has for example been used.
In addition to reprocessed steel and carbon black, Continental is also using polyester yarn made from recycled PET bottles in the tire carcass for the first time. Thanks to the use of plastic bottles, conventional polyester has been fully substituted in the CrossContact Extreme E. The polyester in the carcass is produced from old PET bottles that will not be reused, without any intermediate chemical steps, employing ContiRe.Tex technology. Each of the 30 tires that Continental is supplying to all ten Extreme E teams now contains recycled polyester made from around 60 reprocessed PET bottles. The technology will be integrated into the volume production of various Continental premium tires later this year.
Sandra Roslan, project lead Extreme E at Continental, is confident that the tire developers’ efforts will also have an effect on the future of conventional tires: “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.”
The second-generation CrossContact Extreme E tire will be used in all five races of the 2022 season and is optimized for maximum performance in all climate zones and terrain conditions. “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,” says Nels von Schnakenburg, technical manager for Extreme E at Continental. The size, diameter and width of the tire, however, remain unchanged. These are 37 X 12.5 R17 – i.e. 37-inch diameter, 12.5-inch width, and 17-inch rim.
The technology company is a founding partner and exclusive tire supplier of the off-road racing series, which was first held in 2021. It brings motorsports with electrically powered vehicles to the remotest corners of the world to raise awareness of climate change among motor racing fans. The second Extreme E season starts in Saudi Arabia on February 19 and 20. In Europe, the all-electric racing series will be covered by various TV companies and broadcasters.
Continental is pursuing the ambitious goal of becoming the most advanced tire 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 tire products and achieve complete carbon neutrality along the entire value chain.