Tyre firm and delivery company team up in microplastic reduction initiative

The parcel delivery company DPD is parterning with the electric vehicle tyre innovator ENSO to conduct full road trials of a new tyre for commercial EVs, that are designed to reduce air and microplastic pollution.

The DPD/ENSO trial is a part of Transport for London’s FreightLab Innovation Challenge, which is encouraging innovations that will tackle London’s air pollution and road congestion due to increased freight movement in the Greater London area. The London FreightLab Innovation Challenge is backed by the Mayor of London.

The companies explain that tyres are largely made of fossil fuels, and as they wear down emit more air pollution than tailpipes with tyre particulate matter pollution also making up 28% of all primary ocean microplastics. Tyre pollution is an even bigger problem for EVs as their increased weight and torque wears tyres faster, and so EVs often emit more tyre PM pollution than standard vehicles.

ENSO, headquartered in London, is one of the winners of TfL’s London FreightLab Innovation Challenge, and has developed a revolutionary new tyre that increases EV-range on a single charge, while reducing both air and micro plastic tyre PM pollution.

ENSO’s range-extending and pollution-reducing EV tyres recently broke a world hypermiling record, achieving the longest distance ever driven by a Renault Zoe on a single charge (475 miles, June 10th at Thruxton Race Circuit), in partnership with Mission Motorsport, the UK Armed Forces’ motorsport charity.

During the trial with DPD, ENSO will compare its innovative tyres with industry benchmarks on a fleet of DPD’s Nissan e-NV200 vans, at its all-electric delivery depots – Westminster and Hyde Park – over a 9-month period, measuring improvements in energy-efficiency and tyre durability, against tyre industry benchmarks.

DPD says the trial is part of its strategy to be the most responsible and sustainable city centre delivery company and a leader in the move to electric vehicles in the UK. In May, DPD announced the roll-out of a major new air quality monitoring programme across six of the biggest cities in the UK. While in October 2020, DPD confirmed plans to deliver to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK entirely with zero and low-emission delivery means by 2025. In addition, DPD recently announced that it would double the number of EVs in its fleet this year to almost 1,500 with the UK’s first MAXUS e DELIVER electric van order.

DPD’s Head of CSR, Olly Craughan, commented, “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. 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 tyre PM pollution, we aren’t really unlocking their full potential.

“This trial is an important step for us and another industry first. ENSO’s approach fits perfectly with our vision to deliver green to 25 towns and cities by 2025 and we are really keen to see how their tyres perform on our EV fleet.”

“ENSO’s innovative EV tyres 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 £200billion global tyre industry and deliver the most efficient, durable and sustainable tyres for EVs. By developing better EV tyres, we can reduce pollution and carbon emissions in line with the UK, and indeed global commitments, to reach Net-Zero. Ultra-low energy consumption per mile means that our EV tyres not only save cost and electricity but also improve vehicle operations while dramatically extending EV-range, moving the tyre industry truly into the electric age.”

Rikesh Shah, TfL’s Head of Commercial Innovation, said, ‘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 tyres more sustainable, durable and efficient.

“London FreightLab is a completely new way of looking at freight for TfL and it is fantastic to see innovative products such as EV-tyres in action on the capital’s streets, helping to extend the life of tyres on electric vehicles, which are a vital part of reducing air pollution in London.”

(Picture – DPD Twitter)


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