The European Commission is proposing (PDF) a labeling scheme aimed at influencing consumers to buy more energy efficient and better performing tires. The scheme is proposed to enter into effect by the end of 2012.
The labeling scheme will allow consumers to compare tires by using a system which grades the tires on fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise emitted.
Expected fuel savings from the increased use of fuel efficient tires are estimated between 2.4 and 6.6 million tons of oil equivalent in 2020 depending on the speed of market transformation. As much as 20 percent of the energy needed to operate a car is tire-related, according to some industry estimates.
In addition, CO2 savings due to increased use of fuel efficient tires are expected to range from 1.5 million tons to 4 million tons per year depending on the speed of market transformation towards fuel efficient tires. This is equivalent to removing 500,000 to 1.3 million passenger cars from EU roads per year.
In August, ExxonMobil announced the completion of a manufacturing facility that will provide new capacity for the production of a new tire material technology, Exxcore DVA, that the company says can improve vehicle fuel efficiency from improved tire inflation pressure retention. The company said that if all vehicle tires on the road in the U.S. had an IPR of 1.5 percent — which the company says Exxcore DVA can help achieve — it would represent a potential annual fuel savings of over 700 million gallons and a reduction in greenhouse gases of over 6 million tons per year.
Bridgestone Corporation has just announced that it has started supplying ECOPIA EP25 tires as standard equipment for Toyota Motor Corporation’s “iQ,” which is scheduled to be released to the Japanese market later this month, and in Europe in the beginning of 2009. Bridgestone says the ECOPIA tires provide greater reduction in rolling resistance, improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Yokohama launched an online green social network, Eco Treadsetters, that offers daily green news and forums.
France’s Michelin SA has been touting the fuel-saving potential of its “green tires.”