Hanover, Germany, June 16, 2023. Continental today presented its most sustainable series tire to date – the UltraContact NXT. With up to 65 percent renewable, recycled and mass balance certified materials, it combines a remarkably high share of sustainable materials with maximum safety and performance. Continental is the first manufacturer to launch a tire with both a high share of sustainable materials and maximum EU tire-label performance in volume production. All 19 sizes available will carry the highest possible rating (“A”) of the EU tire label in rolling resistance, wet braking, and exterior noise. The UltraContact NXT will be available for tire dealers in Europe this July.
“At Continental, safety, performance, and sustainability go hand in hand. With the UltraContact NXT, we deliver on our ambitious sustainability goals. This development represents a significant leap forward and demonstrates our technological leadership as well as our strong commitment to both sustainability and safety,” says Ferdinand Hoyos, Head of Continental’s Business Area Replacement Tires EMEA. He adds: “With its impressive performance, the UltraContact NXT pushes sustainability to the NXT level.”
Depending on its tire size, the UltraContact NXT is made from up to 65 percent renewable, recycled and mass balance certified materials. Renewable materials stand up to 32 percent. The proportion of recyclable materials is up to five percent. Furthermore, Continental sourced an amount of up to 28 percent ISCC PLUS mass balance approach certified materials from bio, bio-circular and/or circular feedstock.
Renewable materials include bio-based silica made from agricultural waste
Renewable materials account for up to 32 percent of the UltraContact NXT. This includes resins based on residual materials from the paper and wood industries. Used in tires, resins allow highly flexible compounds to improve the material’s grip. The Ultra Contact NXT contains silicate from the ash of rice husks. Rice husks are an agricultural waste product which may be processed into silica through a new, less energy consuming process. Silica helps to optimize characteristics such as grip, rolling resistance and tire life. As in every tire, natural rubber is a key material of the UltraContact NXT. It remains indispensable as it ensures the highest tire performance properties because of its elevated level of strength and durability.
“Contains recycled materials”-logo underlines the use of recycled materials
The special logo “contains recycled materials” on the sidewall of the UltraContact NXT underlines the use of recycled materials in this tire line. The share of recycled material stands at up to five percent. It includes recycled rubber material, which comes from mechanically processed end-of-life tires. In addition, Continental is using recycled steel in the UltraContact NXT. The already presented innovative ContiRe.Tex technology has also been adopted for the UltraContact NXT. It generates high-performance polyester fibers used to reinforce the tire carcass through recycling PET bottles, which otherwise would have ended up in incinerators or landfills. With the ContiRe.Tex technology, Continental has developed a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly alternative that allows it to recycle between nine and fifteen plastic bottles for each tire, depending on the tire size. Continental is aiming for fully circular operations in its tire production by 2050 at the latest.
Mass balance certified materials include sustainable synthetic rubber and carbon black
For the UltraContact NXT, Continental uses up to 28 percent ISCC PLUS mass balance certified materials. These are sustainable synthetic rubber and carbon black made from biobased, bio-circular and/or circular feedstock. Synthetic rubber is a performance-defining ingredient of modern passenger car tires, as its properties can be engineered specifically for its application. Carbon black is used in rubber compounds to optimize stability, strength, and durability of tires. The ISCC PLUS certified balance mechanism ensures transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain by tracking the origin and characteristics of raw materials, verifying compliance with sustainable criteria, and certifying the resulting products.
Systematically moving towards greater sustainability
Continental is working tirelessly to advance innovative technologies and sustainable products and services throughout its entire value chain, from sourcing sustainable materials to recycling end-of-life tires. By 2030 the premium tire manufacturer aims to have over 40 percent renewable and recycled content in its tires. Continental continues its drive towards 100 percent sustainable materials in all its tire products by 2050 the latest. The UltraContact NXT is an important step to fulfill these ambitious sustainability goals and to become the most progressive tire manufacturer, as laid out in its Vision 2030 strategy program.
Available for various car models of all drive types
The UltraContact NXT is an extension of the successful UltraContact family, which was launched by Continental in 2022. The 19 sizes will replace the existing respective dimensions of the UltraContact. Continental will gradually launch the UltraContact NXT in Europe. First sizes will be available for tire dealers in Europe this July. The UltraContact NXT was designed for both electric and combustion engines, offering the highest label efficiency and optimum mileage performance. Continentals most sustainable series tire to date therefore bears the EV Compatible logo and will be available for various popular vehicles like the Kia Niro, VW ID.3, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Tesla Model 3, Audi Q4 E-TRON, Skoda Octavia, VW Golf 8, Audi A3 and many more.