We are in the midst of a generational shift towards environmentally friendly vehicles, yet there are other innovations being perfected – including non-pneumatic, or airless, tires. Hankook Tire has finished putting its latest design, the iFlex tire, through a rigorous set of tests that have proved it a worthy contender for the future of eco transportation – and they expect to put them on the market very soon.
The iFlex model is the fifth of Hankook’s airless tire models, and it may now be very close to production. The tests focused on five categories: durability, hardness, speed, slalom, and stability. Hankook proudly touts the tire’s ability to reach speeds of 130 km/h (or 81 mph) in its electric car speed test, a promising result for future consumer use.
Not only can the tires perform well, they are also produced using a material that is more easily recycled. And the steps in production were able to be halved – from eight steps to four – which means a smaller footprint for manufacturing. CEO and Vice Chairman Mr. Seung-Hwa Suh reports, “Aiming to strengthen our technological leadership in the global tire market, we will continue to develop cutting edge eco-friendly and future-oriented tires.” It seems Hankook is here to stay, while conventional rubber tires’ days are numbered.
Images via Hankook Tire