Airless Tires Guide| Should You Buy Them in 2024?

The myth of airless tires has been around since 2005, when Michelin first revolutionized the idea of non-pneumatic tires. However, due to the challenges and constraints, the idea has yet to be executed into a viable product. 

In theory, the idea of an air-free tire seems evolutionary; just like run-flat tires, airless tires can also become a specific use tire, and still, pneumatic tires hold the race. Whatever happens, there will be chaos in the tire manufacturing industry, whether years of airless tire research will go to waste or years of advanced pneumatic tire development will hit the ground badly. 

The tire industry will significantly change in 2024, so if you plan to invest in it, you should wait since things get more precise. These tires will change car manufacturers’ perspective, which will also impact the automobile industry as a whole. 

The purpose of this article is not to talk about technical developments or predictions on when this tire will launch; the reason for writing this article is to make a comparison with pneumatic standard tires and whether airless tires are better or we are better off with conservative air pressure tires. 

So, without further ado, let’s talk about the general concept of how airless tires will work. 

How Do they work

Michelin airless tire on the road
Source: Michelin

Airless or non-pneumatic tires are made with a solid core made of plastic and rubber. Instead of air, airless tires utilize honeycomb web and lattice to absorb abrasion and work properly in imbalanced conditions. 

Unlike traditional tires, which leak air after puncture or flat, these airless tires, even after a tread scratch, will work fine. They are see-through tires, so instead of thick sidewalls, these tires consist of plastic sheets that are damage-proof. 

With airless tires, you don’t have to replace them after a few years; these tires can be retread as the other part of the tire will run for many years, as a car wheels run. 

The concept is taken from bulletproof tweel tires of Michelin; however, as late as 2023, there are certain problems with debris sticking on the tread, which might be sorted out before launching the tire.

The Michelin has tested their UPTIS tire on 130MPH, which was also a concern that airless tires can not get higher pace. With bulletproof sidewalls, and non-deflateable tires with high speed, they are grabbing the attention of the law department, which could help them resolve the problem of fire on tires when they try to catch criminals. 

Performance of Airless tires

Speed and brakes

In the early stages of tires, these tires might have some issues with speed and brakes. At least it won’t be at the same level as pneumatic high-performance tires perform. The build also makes a difference in this case: airless tires won’t be able to take advantage of advanced technology that is utilized in traditional tire compounds, so it will take time to match the performance of current high-quality tires. 

Although Michelin has tested their airless tires on 130mph, it is still not enough as compared to the 186mph speed of performance tires. And brakes also won’t be reliable enough, so at the initial stages, airless tires might not be able to compete with traditional tires on this performance metric. 

Handling and Control

The sidewalls and construct play a fairly important role in vehicle handling and control. Still, the most prominent determinant of steering response is tread design and pattern. Although the construct and sidewall advantages of traditional tires won’t easily be counter by airless tires, the improved tread design of airless tires can deliver better handling response and control. 

So, airless and non-pneumatic tires may perform better when it comes to stable rides and smoother steering response. 

Noise and Comfort 

The noise and comfort of airless tires will be better because of their less rubber and compact manufacturing. So when the tire contacts the ground, low weighted tire will create less sound effect. So it is possible to achieve the quietest ideas with airless tires that pneumatic tires would never deliver. 

The comfort of the car is dependent on vibration and pothole abrasion; as airless tires lack sidewall grip and internal compound, they might struggle against potholes and unbalanced roads. Vibration will be far lower with these tires. So, in my consideration, these tires will deliver far greater rides on highways and disturbing rides in off-roads or construction sites. 

Benefits of Airless tires

Improving Results on Climate

The number one benefit of airless tires is that they are far more durable and 100% recyclable, so no heavy impact on climate and disposal problems. One set of airless tires will be able to run for decades, and retreading will be more in trend on these tires. 

With that, they are also less fuel-consuming tires, so less environmental emission is released.  Reduced waste, less emission, and retreading tires is what something required to deal with the major problem of climate change and disposal of tires. 

Durability of lifetime

As we mentioned above, these airless tires will be as reliable as other parts of your car, like the wheels and engine of your car. So, instead of replacing tires, retreading will become a far cheaper and more effective method of renewing tires. 

As the technology improves, there might be possibilities of retreading tires for different driving styles. Foresay, you bought tires for all-season conditions, and you can retread it so it perform well in winter terrains. The future is so bright in the tire industry; let’s see where this innovation takes us. 

Lightweight and fuel-efficient

They are lighter than traditional tires, so there might be an issue with weight lifting. However, the fuel and energy consumption will be improved. This is the reason EVs and BEVs are considering incorporating these tires with their new car models. 

Negatives of Airless tires

Lack of speed and weight-lifting

Even though airless tires are lighter, they are still not as fast as pneumatic tires. The reason for that is air provides a lift to the car, which delivers higher speed performance. In the initial stages, it is not possible to compete on speed and brakes with traditional tires, but they might get better with time. Another reason for the lower speed rating of these tires is their slower brakes. 

With speed, these tires won’t be able to handle heavy weights; although tweel tires are good with heavy trucks, these airless tires will struggle to carry heavy loads. With time, these small things will improve if the drivers appreciate this invention. 

Weak against abrasion and potholes

Airless tire, as of early testing, is not so resistant against potholes, bumps, and other damage sites. Because the tire gets less fluctuation due to the fewer rubber compounds, so the force is not equally divided. This is also a reason for this tire’s uneven treadwear, which is why this tire often requires retreading. 

Regular retreading

It is great that these tires will be retreadable. However, retreading will be required more often than it is for air-pressure tires. So, these tires may become more expensive in the long run than traditional tires. Just like this, there will be many more challenges that manufacturers have to face after launching non-pneumatic tires. 

Manufacturers of Airless tires


Michelin is a well-known tire manufacturer that has been actively exploring and developing airless tire technologies. They are the pioneer of the airless tires concept, and currently, they are collaborating with General Motors to make airless better. With that, prototypes and concepts of “Tweel,” which is a combination of tire and wheel, have made a great change in the tire industry.  

Tweel Technologies, a subsidiary of Michelin, focuses on the development of airless radial tires. They have produced prototypes for various applications, including construction and agricultural equipment. Although they are not as successful, with time and innovation, they can become a big thing when it comes to farming and other heavy types of tires. 


Bridgestone, another major tire manufacturer, has also invested in airless tire research and development. Their “Air Free Concept” is an example of their efforts in creating a puncture-proof tire. Bridgestone’s NPT division is dedicated to the development of airless tire solutions. They have explored various applications, including bicycles and small vehicles. Bridgestone is the only treat to Michelin when it comes to airless puncture-proof tires. 

Hankook Tire

Hankook has showcased its own version of airless tires, emphasizing durability and reduced environmental impact. Their designs often feature a solid structure that eliminates the risk of flats.

Goodyear Tire

Goodyear Tire is also involved in the research and development of NPT (non-pneumatic tires). Till 2022, they have completed 70K miles of driving with their new airless tires in different weather conditions at 100mph. Though they have not released anything about these tire launches, as big of a company, they could bring the best airless tires. 


Are they lighter than normal tires?

Yes, airless tires are lighter than traditional tires, because the weight of air is not included in these tires, so the improved performance and low fuel consumption is the result. 

How are they on tracks?

In the initial stages, there are fewer chances that they would outperform the pneumatic tires, especially on tracks. Because air is needed to improve the brakes and cornering grip. They could replace performance tires and appear in F1 races, but it will take time. 

What is the lifespan of airless tires?

As of this early, there is no clarification about airless tire lifespan; it is expected that these tires will be 3x more durable than traditional tires. However, they require retreading more often than pneumatic tires. 

Do airless tires provide a smoother or rougher ride compared to traditional tires?

It totally depends on the conditions, airless tires might be better on highway and city roads, however, when it comes to off-road and winter terrains, pneumatic tires won’t be easily replaceable. 

Will there be any airless tires for the winter seasons?

Michelin is expected to release airless tires in the 2nd quarter of 2024; it is not probable that they will introduce winter tires at the start. They might drop winter tires if airless tires become more popular in other categories.  


Airless tires will be a game-changing for automobile manufacturers and drivers. It will bring a shift in the market, which might be the biggest change since the inception of tire manufacturing. Pneumatic tires have been around for about 100 years, and something that has a chance to replace them will be exciting and a huge step toward advancement. 

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