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Goodyear's new prototype tires are made of soybeans — and they could majorly improve your gas mileage

Tire manufacturer Goodyear has made a pledge to create a tire made from 100% sustainable materials by 2030.

Goodyear green tire, tire prototype made from soybeans

Photo Credit: Goodyear

Tire manufacturer Goodyear has made a pledge to create a tire made from 100% sustainable materials by the year 2030. And while other such pledges don't always necessarily come to fruition, it appears that Goodyear is well on its way. 

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company unveiled a prototype tire made from 90% sustainable materials. That's up a whopping 20% from the already impressive prototype tire the company revealed at last year's CES, which was made from 70% sustainable materials.

What's more, Goodyear says that the new prototype has already passed Department of Transportation testing, meaning it's approved for road use. Now, all it has to do is secure enough materials to produce the new tires at a commercial scale, and then the tires should be hitting the roads.

The tires are made from soybean oil (instead of petroleum oil), rice husk silica (a byproduct of rice milling that is abundant in rice-producing countries), postconsumer polyester, and biorenewable pine tar resins.

Polyester, in particular, is a major environmental problem, and finding ways to recycle it while also cutting down on the need for new materials is a great thing for our planet. Favored by fast-fashion brands, polyester is made from nonrenewable oil and makes up a huge portion of the 100 million tons of textile waste sent to landfills each year. From the landfills, it leaches toxins into the surrounding soil and water.

While some of Goodyear's plans for more sustainably made tires were previously upset by supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, the company appears to be back on track, and it's not taking its eye off the ball.

"While we celebrated [the 70% sustainable tire], we knew it set the foundation for us to continue to push forward," the senior vice president and chief technology officer said.

In addition to the sustainable materials, Goodyear says that the new tires have a lower rolling resistance, which means better gas mileage and longer electric vehicle ranges. Combine that with the reduced carbon footprint and they truly sound like the tires of the future.

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