Throughout its history, Michelin has used motorsport to trial new ideas and lay down the foundations for the future. Today, the same thinking applies more than ever, since the experience it gains in racing – and more particularly in Formula E – continues to benefit Michelin road tyres and the wider world of mobility alike. The way the MICHELIN Pilot Sport Formula E tyre has evolved over the years effectively mirrors the work the company is accomplishing in favour of the environment.

Low-environmental-impact tyres

More than 25 percent of the energy consumed by a moving vehicle is employed to overcome the phenomenon of rolling resistance, and the progress Michelin Motorsport’s engineers achieved during Formula E’s first two campaigns produced significant breakthroughs in this area. Indeed, the ‘EV2’ version of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport that was introduced at the beginning of the competition’s third season delivered a 16-percent reduction in rolling resistance. This superior efficiency resulted in longer range for the cars which were consequently able to travel some two kilometres further – the equivalent of one lap – compared with the previous championship. The weight of Michelin’s Formula E tyres has also tumbled since the first year, resulting in a saving for Season 5 of 2.0 and 2.5 kilograms for the front and rear covers respectively compared with the first-generation tyre. That’s a total reduction of nine kilograms per set of four! Meanwhile, carrying over the lessons learned in Formula E has produced numerous benefits, from lower CO2 emissions and energy consumption to raw material savings, which in turn mean there is less to recycle. Michelin’s advanced materials expertise (elastomers, technical fabrics, biomaterials, resins, 3D metal printing) has enabled it to innovate in the field of sustainable mobility, too, and the Group has set itself the ambitious target of incorporating more than 80 percent of sustainable materials in its tyres by 2050.

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From track to street…

Michelin believes that using racing tyres of a similar size to those road cars employ facilitates the carry-over of technologies from the race track to the street. It is for this reason that, from the outset, it championed the running of 24/64-18 and 27/68-18 front and rear tyres in Formula E, which is close to the dimensions sports car manufacturers frequently specify. At the same time, the new MICHELIN Track Connect system employed in Formula E is not only a first in motorsport but also a fresh illustration of how Michelin uses racing to pave the way for tomorrow’s mobility. The development work carried out by Michelin’s engineers and the feedback they harvest from Formula E e-prix help to perfect the connected solutions it markets to the public, and MICHELIN Track Connect is already available to car enthusiasts in Europe, North America and China.

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