Michelin calls for bigger sustainability focus

Martin Thompson, Michelin’s Brand Manager UK & Ireland, briefed the panel on the manufacturer’s target of using 100% sustainable materials in its tyres by 2050. (Picture: Alisdair Cusick)

Members of the Michelin Fleet Panel have called for the industry to accelerate progress towards more sustainable tyres and improve support for fleet managers transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs).

The panel, comprising representatives from some of the UK’s biggest leasing, fleet management and rental companies, as well as several major end-user fleets, addressed a series of industry challenges at a recent meeting.

Chairing the meeting, Martin Thompson, Michelin’s Brand Manager UK & Ireland, briefed the panel on the manufacturer’s target of using 100% sustainable materials in its tyres by 2050, and 40% by 2030, and urged the industry to make quicker progress in reducing the environmental impacts of tyres.

He also reinforced the importance of extracting the full performance out of every tyre, saying: “It’s vitally important we better educate fleet managers and customers about how to avoid unnecessary raw material wastage, specifically that it is safe to use tyres down to the 1.6mm legal tread depth limit.”

Some panel members called for the industry to put a greater focus on analysing tyre wear on EVs, saying the current lack of data was making it difficult to make informed buying decisions.

Lorna McAtear, Head of Fleet at National Grid, said the industry needed to tackle some myths around EVs. “There are some misconceptions that all tyres wear out quicker on EVs. The industry needs to deliver clearer messaging to ensure people have the best performing and safest tyres on their EVs, and that they don’t cost more than tyres for internal combustion-engined vehicles.”

The Michelin Fleet Panel has been meeting for more than 20 years; membership is voluntary and participants are not required to be Michelin customers.