Tyre maker predicts colossal fuel savings with new eco-friendly tyres
7 March 2008

Forget hybrids and stop start systems, new tyre designs could save up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 in the next five years, claims the world’s largest tyre maker.Michelin reckons it will sell 100 million of its new Energy Saver tyre by 2012. A set four tyres cuts a car’s CO2 output by 4g/km. The figure could be even higher if buyers of replacement tyres choose low-rolling resistance rubber.Tyres account for up to 20 per cent of the energy consumption of a vehicle, through heat losses as the tyre deforms under load, commonly called rolling resistance.The Energy Saver, which was developed with Peugeot for the new 308, uses a new material that combines low rolling resistance qualities with what Michelin claims are grip and wear qualities comparable to regular tyres.The ewn design is also lighter than the tyre it replaces, cutting mass and consequently reducing heat build up. Michelin claims that it will be able to cut rolling resistance of its tyres by 50 per cent by 2030.

Dan Stevens

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10 March 2008

Great but what about grip and handling!

11 March 2008

You see, this is exactly the point the beardy weirdies don't understand. Life should be for enjoying with an eye on the environment. Not the other way round.

11 March 2008

"...with what Michelin claims are grip and wear qualities comparable to regular tyres"

OK, so for the majority of drivers who brake when approaching a slight kink in the road, saving fuel with no appreciable difference to the grip and handling is a good thing. Yes, for those of us who are happy to accelerate through said kink as we know the car can take it, then there is more cause for concern. I have a set of the current Michelin Energy's, and they are offering me fine grip and handling - not up there with some of the softer tyres, but plenty enough for the car and roads I use. I can't see Michelin doing a bad job, or just buy something else...

If everyone uses less fuel then there will be more left, meaning we delay the day when it will cost £10+ a litre and give ourselves longer to rely on the stuff. For the petrol-head, everybody saving fuel is a good idea.

12 March 2008

Almost every car you can buy now is hopelessly overtyred in the interests of nothing other than appearance and there is huge room for actually improving ride and handling by choosing taller, narrower tyres that have inherently lower rolling resistance.

I read many, many road tests where the base model running on, say, 16 inch wheels is praised for having a more appropriate wheel and tyre package than those further up the range with 17-19in rims that look sexier but are in every other way worse.

It is interesting that in the recent Autocar test of the BlueMotion Polo that it said the slightly reduced level of grip from the low rolling resistance actually improved the ride and handling balance, showing exactly how overspecified the tyres on other Polos were.

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