Michelin Fleet Panel Advocates for Enhanced Sustainability in Tyre Industry

The Michelin Fleet Panel, after a four-year hiatus, recently convened to address pressing sustainability challenges within the tyre industry. The panel, which includes key figures from the UK's leading leasing, fleet management, and rental companies, as well as major end-user fleets, met at the Wakefield site of Aston Barclay, a renowned independent vehicle auction house.

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Michelin | Martin Thompson, Michelin’s Brand Manager UK & Ireland, briefed the panel on the manufacturer’s target of using 100 per cent sustainable materials in its tyres by 2050.
Published on
November 23, 2023

Accelerating Sustainable Practices

The panel's discussions, chaired by Martin Thompson, Michelin's Brand Manager for the UK & Ireland, centered on the urgent need for the tyre industry to progress towards more sustainable practices. Thompson highlighted Michelin's ambitious goal of using 100% sustainable materials in its tyres by 2050, with an interim target of 40% by 2030. He emphasized the critical need for the industry to reduce the environmental impact of tyres more rapidly.

Focus on Electric Vehicles (EVs)

A key issue raised was the lack of tyre data from electric vehicles (EVs), posing a significant challenge for the industry. Panel members stressed the importance of better understanding tyre wear on EVs to facilitate informed purchasing decisions. Michelin's response includes manufacturing tyres specifically designed for EVs, aiming to improve tyre wear and battery range.

The Michelin Fleet Panel, comprising representatives from some of the UK’s biggest leasing, fleet management and rental companies, as well as several major end-user fleets, met at the Wakefield site of Aston Barclay.

Debunking EV Myths

Lorna McAtear, Head of Fleet at National Grid, managing a fleet of 9,000 vehicles including 1,500 EVs, pointed out the need to dispel myths surrounding EVs. She emphasized the necessity for clear messaging to ensure optimal tyre performance and safety on EVs, without incurring additional costs compared to traditional vehicles.

Leveraging Technology for Sustainability

The panel also witnessed presentations from Michelin partners like Canopy Simulations and MICHELIN Connected Fleet, showcasing advancements towards sustainable mobility. ProovStation's AI-powered inspection scanner, recently installed by Aston Barclay, was demonstrated, highlighting its efficiency in vehicle appraisal before auctions.

Matt Childs, Marketing Manager at MICHELIN Connected Fleet, remarked on the growing awareness of sustainability among new generations of drivers and decision-makers. He underscored the potential of connected fleet management solutions in driving operational efficiency and cost savings.

ProovStation provided a live demonstration of its AI-powered inspection scanner.

Industry Collaboration and Future Outlook

Sean Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Aston Barclay, lauded the Michelin Fleet Panel as a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and networking. The panel, with over two decades of history, continues to foster collaboration and innovation in the tyre industry, with members voluntarily participating without the necessity of being Michelin customers.

The Michelin Fleet Panel's recent meeting marks a pivotal step in addressing sustainability in the tyre industry, particularly in the context of the rising adoption of electric vehicles. The panel's discussions and initiatives reflect a growing industry commitment to environmental responsibility and the adoption of innovative technologies to meet these challenges.

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