Developing more sustainable tyres and reducing their environmental impact were major themes of a recent meeting involving leading figures of the tyre and fleet industry.

The Michelin Fleet Panel was attended by representatives of the UK’s leading fleet management, leasing and rental companies, and was chaired by Martin Thompson, brand manager of Michelin in the UK and Ireland.

Thompson outlined Michelin’s objective of producing tyres from 40% sustainable materials by 2030, and making this figure 100% by 2050. Panel members called for more collaboration on tyre data and exploding some of the myths around tyre sustainability.

“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,” Thompson told the meeting. Some panel members said that the industry should improve the quality of data that is available to the industry about tyre wear, especially how it relates to EV performance.

“Leasing and rental companies want to be able to communicate that data to their customers so they can speed up their transition to EVs. Michelin is manufacturing tyres specifically for EVs to help with tyre wear and battery range, and that’s a message we are communicating more widely,” added Thompson.

Lorna McAtear, head of fleet at National Grid, which manages 9,000 vehicles, including 1,500 EVs, said the industry needed to tackle some myths around EVs.

“There are some misconceptions that all tyres wear out quicker on EVs,” she said. “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 over 20 years, sharing the latest information, news and data about the tyre industry.