Global tyre and rubber manufacturer Goodyear has introduced the first commercially available passenger car tyres made out of a new all-weather performance-enhancing soyabean-oil based rubber compound.

The new Assurance WeatherReady-branded tyres, developed by a team of Goodyear scientist and engineers with support from the United Soybean Board (USB), hit stores in September, the company said in a statement.

The new tread compound, which used soyabean oil, gave the tyres the advantage of being softer at lower temperatures, which increased their grip on the road surface in dry, wet and winter conditions, Goodyear said.

Company tests showed that the soyabean oil rubber mixed more easily in the silica-reinforced compounds used in manufacturing certain tyres, which also improved production efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

The tyre firm developed the new compound with partial funding from the USB’s soyabean checkoff programme, which supports the US soyabean industry.

“Businesses looking to use soya, even if for sustainable purposes, want to see not only a price-competitive product, but one that functions the same or better than their original product,” said John Motter, USB chair and soya farmer from Jenera, Ohio.

“When we started working with Goodyear more than six years ago, it was just an idea, a way to build demand for soyabean oil. Now, we have a tyre that shows what soya can do on the road,” he added.