Electric vehicle (EV) tire company Enso has been named as one of 15 global finalists for the environmental Earthshot Prize. Launched by Prince William in 2020, the award scheme aims to discover and help scale the world’s most innovative climate and environmental solutions to protect and restore the planet.
Tires are one of the most widely used products in the world, yet they represent a significant and overlooked challenge to the environment. With 1.5 billion vehicles globally, addressing the issue of tire pollution is of critical importance in the fight against climate change. Research from Imperial College London in 2023 says that globally, tires emit six million tons of pollution each year and more airborne particulate matter than all tailpipes combined.
Enso is developing tires for EVs will the intention to reduce harmful tire pollution, while improving durability and performance and maintaining a cost-effective product for consumers. Following a selection process, a panel of advisors with expertise in science, conservation, innovation, investment, economics, politics and activism selected Enso from more than 1,100 nominations.
“We urgently need to talk about tires and how they pollute our air,” said Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, founder and CEO of Enso. “Tire pollution is a pressing problem for all vehicles, including EVs, so while we can’t make a tire last forever, we can make them last a lot longer and pollute a lot less. Enso’s technology, values and scalable business model helps to clean our air, paving the way for a better future for us all. By doubling tire durability, we can halve tire pollution, it’s as simple as that. Thank you to The Earthshot Prize, for highlighting the impact of tire pollution and recognizing our efforts to help us all live and breathe a bit easier.”
Enso says it combines technological innovation with a disruptive business model and that its tires are calibrated to enhance durability and reduce particulate pollution. In trials led by Transport for London, its tires increased EV range by 10% and reduced particulate matter emissions by 35% compared to some competitors.
As the global automotive industry makes the switch to EVs, the unabating problem of tire pollution risks undermining some of the environmental benefits of the EV transition. Enso says its goal is to reduce particulate emissions while lessening the extraction and processing of raw materials with a tires-as-a-service business model focused on longevity rather than volume of sales.
The brand’s tires have already achieved ‘A’ energy efficiency ratings and are now helping EV taxi and delivery fleets in London reduce their environmental impact and increase their vehicle range. The company is now planning to manufacture over one million low-emission tires annually by 2026 and is expanding into North America in 2024.
The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony will take place on November 7 in Singapore. For more information about The Earthshot Prize 2023 Finalists, please visit www.earthshotprize.org.