The spotlight is on the Urban Taraxagum bicycle tire from the German tire and automotive systems giant, Continental AG, which has recently been singled out for not one but two awards. This exceptional tire, made from dandelion rubber, has won the Red Dot Design award and was recently awarded the E-Bike Design & Innovation Award in the Sustainability & Green category by the magazine Focus E-Bike (focus.de, March 21, 2020).
While the prestigious Red Dot Award was won for the design of the tread of the tire, which is based on the cell shape of the dandelion, Focus E-Bike has honored the tire for the raw material used-the sustainability of rubber extraction from dandelions.
"We are delighted about the two awards,” says Thomas Falke, Head of Continental’s business unit Two-Wheel Tires. “They reflect the particularly successful design and sustainability of our 'Urban Taraxagum' bicycle tire.” In this way, our unique product made in Korbach is actively contributing to environmentally-friendly mobility and thus to greater sustainability."
Claus Petschick, the recently appointed Head of Sustainability in Continental’s Tires business area, pointed out that the company’s dandelion rubber tires are an important part of its extensive sustainability activities and of the goal of making its products and production processes, as well as its R&D even more sustainable.
“Our efforts to cease importing the important rubber material from the tropics, and instead to manufacture it as close as possible to our tire plants, will make a significant contribution," he said.
In March 2020, the 'Dandelion Bicycle Tire' was recognized with the IF Taipei Cycle d&i Gold Award and in 2019, the tire won the sustainability award from the e-bike manufacturer Accell Group. In the future, Continental’s long-term Taraxagum project will be to supply natural rubber (NR) from dandelion plants, which can be used for the production of two-wheel, passenger car or commercial vehicle tires, as well as other vehicle parts. Continental has already produced the first test tires for passenger cars and trucks.
The first production tire to be manufactured using NR from the dandelion plant has been produced for two years at the company’s bicycle tire plant in Korbach, in the German state of Hesse. It is available both in-store and online. Further information on the project can be found at www.taraxagum.com.