EV tire trial to reduce air and microplastic pollution in London

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DPD is joining forces with the electric vehicle tire developer Enso to conduct full road trials of a new commercial EV tire design, specified to reduce air and microplastic pollution.

The trial is a part of Transport for London’s FreightLab Innovation Challenge, which is backed by the Mayor of London.

As tires wear, they emit more air pollution than tailpipes. In addition, tire particulate matter pollution makes up 28% of all primary ocean microplastics. The increased weight and torque of EVs increase tire wear, meaning that electric vehicles often emit more tire particulate matter than ICE vehicles.

Enso, headquartered in London, has developed a new tire that increases EV range on a single charge while reducing air and microplastic tire PM pollution.

This range-extending, pollution-reducing design recently broke a world hypermiling record, achieving the longest distance ever driven by a Renault Zoe on a single charge (achieving 764km on June 10 at Thruxton Race Circuit in the UK), in partnership with Mission Motorsport, the UK Armed Forces’ motorsport charity.

During the trial with DPD, Enso will compare its tire design with industry benchmarks on a fleet of DPD’s Nissan e-NV200 vans over a nine-month period, measuring improvements in energy efficiency and tire durability.

“Rather than just simply buying EVs, our whole approach to sustainability is about joining the dots and working with like-minded innovators to help solve the big challenges like air pollution,” said DPD’s head of CSR, Olly Craughan. “Through our involvement in London FreightLab we got to know Enso and understand their vision. While EVs are the future, unless we also solve the problem of tire particulate matter pollution, we aren’t really unlocking their full potential.”

“Enso’s innovative EV tires are designed to be EV range-extending and PM pollution-reducing, and through TFL’s London FreightLab trial with DPD, we will demonstrate their importance in reducing air pollution in London,” added Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, Enso founder and CEO. “Enso’s mission is to disrupt the £200bn [US$277bn] global tire industry and deliver the most efficient, durable and sustainable tires for EVs. By developing better EV tires, we can reduce pollution and carbon emissions in line with the UK, and indeed global commitments, to reach net zero.”

“We’re really excited that our London FreightLab Innovation Challenge has helped to produce this partnership between DPD and Enso, which is helping us to explore how to make tires more sustainable, durable and efficient,” agreed Rikesh Shah, TfL’s head of commercial innovation. “London FreightLab is a completely new way of looking at freight for TfL and it is fantastic to see innovative products such as EV tires in action on the capital’s streets, helping to extend the life of tires on electric vehicles, which are a vital part of reducing air pollution in London.”

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Matt joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire, Professional Motorsport World, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International and Crash test Technology International.

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